• Amusan sets new games record, inspires 4x100m women to gold, new African mark
Nigeria rounded off its participation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, yesterday, with a big splash on the medals pool, with the ladies, once again, leading the country’s march for glory.
The victory dance started in the morning at the Alexander Stadium, where the quartet of Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rose Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha won the 4x100m women’s relay race.
The quartet also set a new African record of 42.10s to win the country’s 11th gold medal in what has turned out to become Nigeria’s best outing at the Commonwealth Games.
The 4x100m women team included Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rose Chukwuma and anchor, Grace Nwokocha.
Earlier, the quartet of Udodi Onwuzurike, Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola and Raymond Ekevwo won the bronze medal in the men’s 4x100m event won by the English team. The Nigerian men finished in a time of 38.81s to make it to the podium.
Meanwhile, Ofili, on Saturday, became the third Nigerian woman after Mary Onyali (1994) and Blessing Okagbare (2014) to win a medal in the 200m at the Commonwealth Games.
The 19-year-old ran 22.51 seconds to place second behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah (22.02s Games record), the Tokyo Olympics double sprint champion.
Namibia’s Tokyo Olympics 200m silver medalist, Christine Mboma, finished third in 22.80 seconds.
Ofili’s silver medal win is the second such medal Nigeria has won in the event after Mary Onyali, who ran 22.35 seconds to place second behind Australia’s Cathy Freeman in 1994.
Nigeria’s record in the event now reads one gold after Blessing Okagbare’s 22.25 seconds blistering run eight years ago in Glasgow, Scotland and two silver medals.
Interestingly, the three Nigerians that have qualified to run in the final of the half-lap event have ended on the podium.
However, Nigeria’s 28-year wait for a men’s 200m medal has been extended to 32 after former World U-20 champion, Udodi Onwuzurike, could only finish in sixth place (20.76s) in the final of the event Saturday evening.
Onwuzurike had made history as the first Nigerian since 2006 (16 years) to run in the final of the event.
The last time Nigeria mounted the podium for a 200m medal at the Games was in 1994 in Victoria, Canada, where Daniel Effiong has presented a bronze medal for finishing third (20.40s) behind Namibia’s Frankie Fredericks Frankie Fredericks, who ran a new 19.97 seconds Games record to win the gold and England’s John Regis, who won the silver medal.
David Ejoke won Nigeria’s first medal in the event in 1966 albeit he ran over 220 yards at the time.
In the last field event of the day, Ese Brume 7.00 metres to break her Commonwealth Games record and add another gold medal to Nigeria’s kitty.
Earlier, Elizabeth Oshoba failed in her attempt to win a gold medal in the women’s featherweight boxing final, losing 5-0 to Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh. She got a silver medal for her efforts.
The women’s 4×400 metres relay team were not luckier as they could only finish seventh in the race won by England. Canada took the silver, while the bronze medal went to Jamaica.
With 12 gold medals in the kitty, Nigeria made it her best-ever show at the Commonwealth Games.