Although they would have been hoping to at least make the final of their event at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, Nigeria’s Mixed 4x400m quartet comprising Emmanuel Ojeli, Imaobong Nse Uko, Samson Nathaniel and Patience Okon-George will leave the competition with their heads held high after storming to a new African Record of 3:13.60 to finish 5th in their semi final race.
Speaking after the race, Okon-George revealed that the squad is consoled by the African Record they set while competing at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
She said, “The last race we ran back in June was 3:14.09 and the 3:13.60 we ran today is good. We are happy with the new African Record. It was not easy running with 43second runners on the anchor leg. Now that we haven’t made it to the final, I’m just going to be focused and get ready for the 400m. I think I’m good to go”.
Teammate Emmanuel Ojeli also revelled in the fact that the quartet made history by becoming the first African team to qualify for and compete at the Olympics.
“We have been trying so hard to qualify in the 4x400m men and women so when we heard that the Mixed Relays was going to hold, we just needed to put ourselves together to qualify for the event. We are the first African team to qualify for the event at the Olympics and ran an African Record as well”, he said.
The quartet will now set their sights towards qualifying for next year’s World Championships in Oregon.