By Dare Esan In Beijing:
The Nigeria women’s 1600 relay team made history Saturday morning in the first semi-final of the event at the 15th IAAF World Championships which ends here on Sunday in Beijing.
The team, led by 400m open finalist Patience Okon-George, ran 3:23.27 seconds, the fastest time run in the history of the championships by a Nigerian team since the quartet of Fatimah Yusuf, Mary Onyali, Airat Bakare and Charity Opara with a 49.97 anchor ran 3:24.45 to place fifth in the final at the Tokyo 1991 third edition of the championships.
The 2015 history-making team was led off by 2013 400m open semi-finalist Regina George who handed over with a marginal advantage to Foluke Oladoye who improved the advantage marginally before Ekiti-born Tosin Adeloye increased the advantage significantly before handing over to Okon-George, the only one in the team who has broken 51 seconds this year, to race home first and qualify for Sunday’s final.
The team has been drawn in lane 7 for Sunday’s final and will hope to win Nigeria’s women’s first relay medal at the championships.
They will however have to battle it out with hot favourites, the USA, who won the other semi-final; Jamaica who are second on the 2015 top list behind USA and just ahead of Nigeria, as well as Great Britain who may likely bring in 400m open finalist and former world champion, Nigeria-born Christine Ohuruogu.Canada, Ukraine, Russia and France complete the list.