Nigerias 4x200m relay quartet, comprising Blessing Okagbare, Regina George, Dominique Duncan, and Christy Udoh yesterday beat a packed track, including favourites, the United States (U.S.), to win the 4×200 metres gold medal at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.
According to the IAAF, although there were world records and shock defeats in other events, the women’s 4x200m was the most dramatic final yesterday, the first day of the World Relays, with pre-event favourites, U.S., seemingly on course to defend their title when Shalonda Solomon, Kimberlyn Duncan and Jeneba Tarmoh built up a comfortable lead on the first three legs.
But then disaster struck on the final change over between Tarmoh and Allyson Felix. With the Olympic 200m champion struggling to get a solid grip on the baton, Tarmoh bumped into her sending her to the ground, their medal hopes dashed.
The host nation’s faulty change over also played in favour of Nigeria as they were disqualified even though they finished the race in second position.
The Nigerian girls won the race in 1:30.52 to take two seconds off the national record they set earlier this year.
World bronze medallist, Blessing Okagbare, led the team off before the baton was passed to Regina George, Dominique Duncan and Christy Udoh.
Jamaica finished a distant second in 1:31.73, one-and-a-half seconds slower than their time from last year, but one place higher on the podium.
Germany were third in 1:33.61 while China set an Asian record of 1:34.89 in fourth.
Nigeria failed to make any impact in the other races with the women and men’s 4×400 teams unable to advance beyond the heats.
Nigeria finished fourth over all for women, while the men placed seventh.