Nigerian athletes are hoping to come up with a good run in the final of day of the Penn Relays today in Philadelphia, USA and put themselves in a good stead for the forthcoming World Relay Championships May 24-25 in Nassau, Bahamas.
According a member of the men 4x400m, Orukpe Erayokan the Nigerian quartet are motivated to produce a better performance, better than they did last weekend.
“We want to do our best. We ran well at the Mt. Sac Relays but want to do better this time. We are going against countries like Jamaica and the US but I am not afraid because we all have two hands and two legs. There is nothing to be scared about,” said the athlete.
Meanwhile excitement is starting to mount with exactly one month to go until the first gun goes at the inaugural IAAF World Relays.
Although most of the expected teams have yet to make their final squad selections, it is already known that the sport’s superpowers like Kenya, Jamaica, the USA and many European nations, will be sending their strongest men and women teams to contest the five disciplines on the programme of this innovative event.
There are two big incentives for nations to send their best squads to contest the 10 events which will be staged in the newly-built 15,000-seater Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, with both men and women competing in the 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m.
The top eight teams in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m will automatically qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in 2015. In addition, the top eight teams in each event will be awarded prize money with the gold medallists taking home no less than USD $50,000. In the event that a team breaks a World record in Nassau, an additional bonus of USD $50,000 will also be awarded.
Preliminary entries suggest that more than 700 athletes from 48 IAAF Member Federations will take part in Nassau.
Whetting the appetite for the forthcoming relay extravaganza, 2014 has already seen the US men set a World indoor 4x400m record and a quartet of Kenyan women running a 4x1500m faster than ever before.