Despite Personal Loss Okagbare Leads Nigeria’s Relay Team to 4x100m Final

Gloria Asumnu, Blessing Okagbare, Jennifer Madu and Agnes Osazuwa of Nigeria react during round one of the Women’s 4 x 100m Relay photo credit by Shaun Botterill of Getty Images
The quartet of Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asumu, Jennifer Madu and Agnes Osazuwa gave Nigerians a glimpse of hope of a medal as they zoom into of the final of the 4×100m relay at the Rio Olympic Games in the early hours of Friday morning Nigerian time.

They qualified for Saturday’s final (12:15 a.m. Nigerian time) after coming second behind Germany with a time of 42.55sec, the latter finished with a time of 42.18sec while Trinidad and Tobago came third with time of 42.62sec.

Interestingly, the USA relay quartet of Tianna Bartoletta, Allyson Felix, English Gardner and Morolake Akinosun completed their heat in 41.77 seconds, doing so on an empty track due to a protest that was upheld by the IAAF. During their original run Felix’s passing of the baton to Gardner was botched, resulting in the Americans finishing last in their heat. Felix argued that she was contacted by a runner in another lane, but without the decision to pick up the baton and complete their heat the U.S. would not have been able to file an appeal.

In heat one, the Jamaican team represented by Sashalee Forbes, Simone Facey, Veronica Campbell -Brown and bronze medallist in the 100m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce placed first to qualify with a time of 41.79 sec.

Former two-time Olympic champion over 200m, Veronica Campbell-Brown ran an impressive curve on the 3rd leg to hand over first to Fraser-Pryce. They finished ahead of the Great Britain team, who placed second in a time of 41.93 sec. Also automatically qualifying are the Ukrainians in a time of 42.29 sec

Nigeria will battle for the gold medal alongside Jamaica, Great Britain, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago and, the USA.