Nigeria’s 4x100m women’s relay team breaks the continent’s record at the World Athletics Championships
At the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the women’s 4×100 relay team from Nigeria broke a previous African mark.
Joy Udo-Gabriel, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, and Grace Nwokocha, who were in lane 8 and placed fourth in the final, ran 42.22 seconds, shattering the 30-year-old African record.
Despite their world-record-breaking performance, they fell short of the podium as Germany, represented by Tatjana Pinto, Alexandra Burghardt, Gina Iückenkemper, and Rebekka Haase, won the bronze medal with a season-best time of 42.03 seconds.
Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini, and Twanisha Terry of the host country, USA, set a new world record time of 41.14 seconds to defeat Jamaica for the gold medal.
The Jamaican team, which included Kemba Nelson, Elaine Thompson-Herah, a double Olympic winner, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, a five-time world 100-meter champion, and Shericka Jackson, the fastest woman alive over 200 meters, settled for silver after posting a season-best time of 41.18 seconds.
While Great Britain and Northern Ireland, led by 200-meter bronze medalist Dina Asher-Smith, finished in sixth place with a time of 42.75 seconds, Spain set a new national record to finish in fifth. Italy (42.92) and Switzerland (42.81) came in at positions 7 and 8, respectively.
Nigeria had established the previous African record of 42.39 seconds during the women’s 4100 meter heats at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. In the final, the team of Mary Onyali, Beatrice Utondu, Faith Idehen, and Christy Opara-Thompson would earn a bronze medal.
Nigeria has yet to take home a medal in the women’s 4100-meter relay at the global championships; the nation’s best finish in the race so far is fourth.
At the 1991 competition in Tokyo, Japan, the team of Beatrice Utondu, Rufina Ubah, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, and Christy Opara-Thompson finished in fourth place. Endurance Ojokolo, Mercy Nku, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi, and Chioma Ajunwa also finished in fourth place at the 2001 competition in Edmonton, Canada.