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For its sixth-place finish, the nation’s mixed relay team will smile home with $8,000 at the ongoing World Championship in Athletics in Oregon, USA.
Prior to the championship, the country’s mixed relay team was ranked 15th in the world. But on the first day of the championship last Friday, the team won the hearts of many spectators by ousting top teams including Great Britain to book a place in the final.
Nigeria made their debut in the event at the Tokyo Olympics last year, where they went out in the first round.
The team qualified for the final on Friday after placing fifth in race one, but made it through after race two produced a slower time.
In Oregon’s first championship final, the Nigerians finished sixth, a performance described as fantastic by AFN performance director and team manager Victor Okorie.
“No one gave Nigeria a chance to make it to the final considering we were ranked 15th in the world for this championship. We made history here, and I’m sure that’s the sign of better things to come,” Okorie said, adding that the team earned $8,000 for their efforts.
“Nigerian athletes are determined to do well here in Oregon despite the late arrival of some Nigerian athletes due to late departure and visa issues. Some of our athletes arrived hours before their events and were able to qualify for the final Two of our men’s sprinters will compete in the semi-finals of the men’s 100m and hopefully qualify for the final.
“Our shot put champion, Enekwechi Chukwuebuka, is already in the final, and I pray he gets a medal for Nigeria,” Okorie said.
Regarding the Nike kits provided to Team Nigeria, the Performance Director said: “We got these kits from Nike for free, and we should commend them for coming to our rescue. The AFN will soon enter into a formal agreement with Nike.
“The athletes are very happy with what they got. Things will surely improve as this current AFN council headed by Tonobok Okowa will always go for the best.
Meanwhile, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) yesterday provisionally suspended marathon runner, Kenyan Lawrence Cherono, and American 400m runner, Randolph Ross, meaning both athletes are excluded from Oregon 22.
A sample taken from Cherono tested positive for trimetazidine, a substance prohibited by WADA’s 2022 Prohibited List as a metabolic modulator. Substances in this category change the way the body metabolizes fat. Trimetazidine is approved in some countries to treat chest pain resulting from a lack of blood and oxygen supply to the heart.

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