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IAAF World Championships: Nigeria’s medal hope in hands of Amusan, 4x400m women, says athletics coach

An athletics statistician, Olalekan Soetan, says Nigeria’s 100m hurdler Oluwatobiloba Amusan and the 4x400m women team remains the only medal prospects for the country at the ongoing World Championships in London.

Soetan, also a hurdles coach, made the assertion in an interview on Tuesday after the 400m women failed to qualify for the final of the event on Aug. 7.

“We went to the World Championships with athletes running 51.00secs, 52.00secs, who are not ranked among the first 16 in the world, so, I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t get to the final.

“They were the best, the country could have featured judging by their performances,’’ he said.

Patience Okon-George returned 7th position with a time of 52.60secs, Yinka Ajayi came 6th with 52.10secs and Margaret Bamgbose returned 8th in 52.23secs in their respective heats.

He added that Amusan ranked among the best 10 athletes in the world and the 4x400m women, based on their individual timing were the major hope for winning a medal.

Amusan is the only one ranked among the best 10 in the world in her event, she is someone that can pull through in her event and win a medal.

“And she has been consistent,’’ he said.

The 100m hurdles begins on Aug. 11.

Commenting on Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor’s failure to qualify for the semi-finals of the 100m, Soetan said that in spite of ageing, the sprinter had not perfected her skills.

“She is strong no doubt, but for me she has not been perfecting her skills, if you are ageing, that is the reason why you need to keep practicing,’’ he said.

The championships which began on Aug. 4 will end on Aug. 13.



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