23rd African Athletics Championships: Nigeria to present three men’s 400m finalists for the first time in the new millennium

Mixed relay team, Olatoye settle for bronze and silver respectively

The trio of Chidi Okezie, Samuel Ogazi and Dubem Nwachukwu will be making history when they file out for the final of the men’s 400m final on Sunday in Douala, Cameroon, venue of the on-going 23rd African Athletics Championships.

It will be the first time since, at least, the end of the last millennium that Nigeria will have three men in the final of the full lap event.

The trio has now been handed the task of getting Nigeria to the podium as African champion since 1998 when Clement Chukwu ran 44.65, a then Championships record to win the gold medal.

Okezie rewrote Nigeria’s history in the event at the African Games in March, winning the country’s first gold in the event since Innocent Egbunike won in 1987 in Nairobi, Kenya. The 30 year old could be the man to rewrite his country’s record at this championships too.

Or 18 year old Ogazi who has been incredible since the start of the year, running inside 44.60 thrice within a month.

The trio could be aiming higher for a clean sweep of the medals on offer, an unprecedented feat that will launch them into African Championships history books.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Mixed Relay team settled for a silver medal in the final of the event held on Saturday.

The quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Ella Onojuvwevwo, Dubem Nwachukwu, and Patience Okon-George ran 3:13.72 to clinch the bronze behind South Africa (3:13.12) and Botswana (3:15.93).

In the women’s Hammer throw, Oyesade Olatoye could not successfully defend her title as her 67.72m effort was only good for second place.


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