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IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019: Nigeria sets national record despite finishing last

Nigeria’s men team in the 4X200metre set a new national record at the just concluded IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019 despite finishing last in the final of the event in Japan.

Also, the women team failed to make it to the final of the 4X400m and 4X100m from the heat events held on Saturday.

In the 4X400m, the female team finished fifth with their season best of 3.32.10secs, while in the 4X100m, they had their season best of 45.07secs after finishing fourth in heart two.

However, the men’s team put up a good show amidst array of top teams particularly in the 4X200m when the team qualified for the final with 1.22.08secs in heat two to set a new national record. But the team finished last in the final dominated by France.

Also, after victories in each of the three previous editions of the IAAF World Relays, the US was finally knocked from its pedestal in the women’s 4x400m where an inspired Polish squad took the first title after Justyna Swiety-Ersetic successfully fought off a three-pronged attack down the homestretch.

Propelled by a 52.5 opening lap, Jaide Stepter gave the US quartet the early lead, heading Jamaica, Italy and Poland into the first exchange. Shakima Wimbley extended the lead for the Americans on the second leg, while behind her, Poland’s Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz moved Poland into second with Italy another half second behind in third.

But things began to unravel for the US squad over the final 40 metres of the third leg, where Anna Kielbasinska brought Poland into the the lead, drafting Jamaican Tiffany James and Italy’s Giancarla Trevisan past Jessica Beard of the US.

Swiety-Ersetic, the European 400m champion, then took command, padding her lead down the back straight, seemingly preparing for the pressure that lied ahead. Four teams were in contention as the field came off the final turn, but as hard as US anchor Courtney Okolo, the world indoor champion, tried to chip away at the deficit, the Pole fought back and ultimately held on to bring her triumphant squad to the line in 3:27.49. Okolo won the battle for second over Italian anchor Raphaela Boaheng Lukudo by 0.09 in 3:27.65.

Read Also: IAAF World Relays: Visa threatens Nigeria’s participation

Also, there were more bad news for the US in the men’s 4x400m, where its three-edition run in that event came to an unceremonious conclusion in another battle that came down to wire.

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