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Nigerians shine in Port of Spain

By AFN Editor on Tue, 23/06/2009 - 1:19am

Nigeria women's 4x100m team has qualified for the relay event at the World Athletics Championships after dipping under the 43.90 seconds IAAF qualifying standard yesterday at the NAAA/Sagicor National Track and Field Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The team clocked a season's best 43.51 seconds whilst placing second to the Trinidad & Tobago team anchored by Kelly Ann Baptiste in a new national record of 43.32 seconds.

Trinidad & Tobago and Nigeria were neck and neck up until the final leg, but a chaotic change-over for the Central Americans gave the Nigerians the edge and a slight lead.

However, Kelly Ann Baptiste powered home in the final leg to overcome the disadvantage to Nigeria on the final baton handover, sped down the home stretch to catch her opponent and shot past her to the line.

The Nigerian men were however disappointing, finishing fourth in 40.75 seconds and missing out on the 39.10 seconds IAAF 4x100m relay qualifying standard.

The Trinidad & Tobago (Red team) quartet of Darrel Brown, Marc Burns, Keston Bledman and Richard Thompson won the race in 38.70 seconds. Canada were second in 39.51 seconds, while the Trinidad & Tobago White team were third in 40.45 seconds.

Nigeria's Jessica Ohanaja came second in 13.51 seconds in the women's 100 metres hurdles race won by Trinidad and Tobago's Josanne Lucas with a 13.19 seconds clocking. Trinidad & Tobago's Aleesha Barber was third in 13.63 seconds. Olympic bronse medallist Blessing Okagbare, fresh from her NCAA exertions for the University of Texas, in El Paso, won the women's Long Jump in 6.64 metres, followed by Trinidad & Tobago's Rhonda Watkins (6.58m) and Charisse Bacchus (6.41 metres) in second and third places respectively.

The women's 4x400m relay team led by University of Texas, in El Paso's, Endurance Abinuwa and comprising of Halimat Ismaila, Ajoke Odumosu and K Oliver beat the Trinidad & Tobago Red team to the second place in 3:32.80, with the Caribbean team a distant second in 3:38.68.

The men's team of Victor Isaiah, Akobundu Ikwuakor, Bola Lawal and Amaechi Morton however placed second in 3:07.77 and failed to meet the 3:03.30 IAAF qualification standard.

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