After a day without competing in any event, Team Nigeria returned to action on Thursday, July 29, 2021 (early hours of Friday, July 30, in Nigeria). Esther Toko finished 6th in the women’s singles sculls final E of the rowing event.
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Despite not bagging a medal in Tokyo, Toko improved her Personal Best from 8:58.49s to 8:42.78s and will be hoping to make use of the experience garnered, in the next Olympics.
In athletics, Grace Nwokocha made her Olympic debut in the heat 5 of the women’s 100m event and finished third with a Personal Best of 11.00s, behind Shelly-Ann Fraser of Jamaica (first, 10.84s), and Alja Del Ponte of Switzerland in second, 10.91s. Nwokocha qualified for the semis and will be up (from lane 9) against Fraser again in the heat 3 of women’s 100m semis.
Nigerian sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare, proved her mettle in the tracks after finishing first in the heat 6 of the women’s 100m in a time of 11.05 (-0.1). Okagbare’s win meant she has made it to three Olympic semi-finals consecutively. She has been drawn in the heat 1 of the women’s 100m semi-final and will be running from lane 5 against the likes of Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain and Elaine Thompson of Jamaica.
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Okagbare will hope to finish first in the semis or second, to ensure automatic qualification for the finals.
Following the disqualification of some Nigerian athletes from participating in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by the Athletics Integrity Unit of World Athletics on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, for not meeting up to 3 Out of Competition Tests needed to compete, some of the country’s athletes protested with placards questioning the decision of the athletic body.
Nigeria competed in the Mixed 4x400m for the first time in a major championship in Tokyo. The quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Imaobong Nse Uko, Samson Nathaniel and Patience Okon-George, ran a new African Record of 3:13.60, but it was not enough as they finished 6th.
In basketball, the Nigerian national women’s team, the D’Tigress, lost their second game in the Olympics after being beaten 87-62 points by the French national team in the second round of Group games. With this result, the coach Otis Hugely led ladies would have to win their last group game against hosts, Japan, to stand a chance of qualifying for the next round as one of the best third-placed teams.
Featured Image Source: Punch Newspapers
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