Nigeria grabs first gold medal at World U20 Championship, sets new record

• Godson Brume, Praise Ofoku in 100m final

Team Nigeria became the centre of attraction at the Kasarani Stadium, venue of the ongoing World U20 Championship in Nairobi yesterday, as the country’s 4x400m mixed relay team grabbed the first gold medal at the event. They also set Championship record twice. 

After Nnamani Johnson, Opeyemi Oke, Ajayi Bamidele and Imaobong Nse Uko dazzled the spectators with a new record of 3:21.66 on their way to the final, the athletes increased their pace in the final race to shock the entire crowd with their spectacular display of talent, which earned Team Nigeria, the gold medal with another Championship record of 3; 19.70.

The first time in a long while, Nigeria’s flag was held by the athletes running round the entire stadium with cheers from the spectators.

In the women’s 100m semifinal event, Praise Ofuku gave the spectators a tip of what to expect in today’s final as she powered past all contestants to anchor at a time of 11.57 seconds. She came from behind to win the ticket to the final.

Nigeria’s hope of having two women.runners in today’s 100m final was aborted when Godbless Tima ran a slow race of 11.61 second to finish in the 8th position.

Tima had earlier in the day run 11.59sec to raise the hope of Nigerians.

One of Nigeria’s best male junior sprinters, Godson Brume lived up to the expectations of the people yesterday, as he raced to the men’s 100m final in 10.24 seconds. 

Brume, who is the younger brother of Tokyo Olympics medallist Ese Brume, had run 10.35 second earlier in the day to win the heat.  

Team Nigeria now has two contestants in today’s 100m event, one each in male and female categories.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Tonobok Okowa was full of praises for the athletes and their coaches. He stated that the gold medal was a good beginning for the current AFN board.

Also, former AFN President Solomon Ogba commended the athletes saying: This is just the beginning.”

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