It was a race where the Allyson Felix-led USA and a Jamaican team comprising the likes of Veronica Campbell-Brown were favoured to carry the first two positions, but Team Nigeria dusted the favourites to take the limelight and claim the top spot.World Championships’ 200m bronze medallist, Blessing Okagbare got Nigeria off to a perfect start in lane 4. By the time she handed the baton to Regina George it was getting clearer that she had closed the gap on the Team Bahamas in lane 5. She safely handed the baton to Duncan, who ran the third leg well, to give 2012 Olympian for Nigeria, Udoh, the lead to defend in the final 200 metres.Udoh was able to hold off the approaching Bahamians at the end, who were later disqualified, leaving Sherone Simpson to bring Jamaica home in second in 1:31.73s, with Germany finishing in 3rd in 1:33.61s. Team USA did not finish the race, as Jeneba Tarmoh and Alysson Felix collided on their final changeover.George had decided to sit out the women’s 4x400m just minutes earlier to stay fresh for the 4x200m.Nigeria’s 4x400m men, comprising Orukpe Erayokan, Robert Simmons, Amaechi Morton and Miles Ukoama finished 7th in Heat 2 in 3:06.92s, while the 4x400m women, parading a much changed quartet from the bronze medal winning team last year - Rita Ossai, Patience Okon George, Ibukun Mayungbe and Ngozi Onwumere could only manage 4th in Heat 1 in a time of 3:32.16, also missing out on the finals and an automatic place in the 4x400m at the Rio Olympics next year.Okagbare will be hoping to lead Team Nigeria to yet another medal in the women’s 4x100m this time, after missing out on bronze by a hundredth of a second last year. If the team can finish in the top 8 they will gain an automatic qualifying spot for the Rio Olympics.
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