By Emmanuel Okogba
The strategy deployed by Nigeria’s quartet of Ifeanyi Emmanuel Ojeli, Imaobong Nse Uko, Samson Oghenewegba Nathaniel and Patience Okon George in the semi-final first heat of the 4×400 mixed relay backfired as the team finished last.
The mixed relay is a combination of two male and two female athletes who cover a distance of 400 metres each before handing the baton to the next runner.
While other teams deployed male-female-female-male, Nigeria used male-female-male-female.
A good first leg by Ojeli was followed by Uko finishing 3rd, Nathaniel took over the baton and opened up a gap of over 100 metres against female runners. The move backfired as George had to contend with male runners in the anchor leg and finished last.
The United States of America and the Dominican Republic who finished first and second were disqualified but Nigeria’s finishing position was not good enough to earn a qualification for the final set for tomorrow.
The event is making its debut at the Olympics.