World Championship bronze medallist, Blessing Okagbare, led Regina George, Dominique Duncan and Christy Udoh in a dramatic race yesterday to win gold medal for Nigeria in the women’s 4x200m event at the 2015 IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas. Okagbare and teammates won in 1:30.52 to take two seconds off the Nigeria national record they set earlier this year.
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. Even though there were new world records and shock defeats in other events, the women’s 4x200m was the most dramatic final on the first day of the World Relays competition.
United States, the pre-event favourites, looked to be on course to successfully defend their title from last year, after Shalonda Solomon, Kimberlyn Duncan and Jeneba Tar- • R-L: Okagbare, George, Duncan and Udoh celebrate Nigeria’s triumph in the women’s 4x200m event at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas on May 2, 2015 • Mikel celebrates Nigeria international wins second league title with London club moh had built up a comfortable lead on the first three legs. But then disaster struck on the final changeover between Tarmoh and Allyson Felix. The Olympic 200m champion couldn’t quite get a solid grip on the baton as Tarmoh then bumped into her before Felix fell to the ground, their medal hopes dashed.
There was drama too for the host nation as their second changeover was well outside of the zone. The Bahamas carried on and eventually crossed the line in second place, but they were soon disqualified.