Team Nigeria won a gold and bronze medal on the final day to cap up a remarkable performance at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya which climaxed yesterday.
The country won a total of seven medals of four gold and three bronze to finish third overall on the final medals table at the five-day Championship.
Hosts Kenya finished top with eight gold, one silver and seven bronze medals, while Finland narrowly beat Nigeria to the second position with four gold and a silver medal.
The 4×400m and 4×100m women relay teams accounted for Nigeria’s final day medals that increased the country’s medals haul to four gold and three bronze medals.
Former Nigeria’s international and Olympic medalist, Mary Onyali, described the Team Nigeria’s performance as a sign of great things to come.
“There are so many reasons to celebrate what Team Nigeria achieved in Kenya when you look at the tones of national and African records broken and set by our team,” Onyali, who is now a special adviser to the Sports Minister, said.
“You also need to think about the hard work, tears, sweat and level of preparation for this championship.
“Surely, these are signs that Nigeria’s future is bright in athletics. We have a solid foundation to build an enduring and fruitful future on.”
Team Nigeria’s first medal on the final day of action in Nairobi came from the 4x100m relay women’s event where the country scooped a bronze medal. The quartet of Praise Ofoku, Favour Ofili, Anita Traviore and Tima Seikeseye GodBless returned a time of 43.90secs behind Jamaica and Namibia who won the gold and silver medals respectively.
Nigeria’s final golden moment in Nairobi came in the 4x400m women’s event when the quartet of Opeyemi Oke, Imaobong Nse Uko, Ella Onojuvwevwo and Favour Ofili with a time of 3:31:46 secs secured what was the country’s fourth overall gold medal.
The gold for Uko was her third following earlier winning feats in the Mixed Relays and the 400m individual events.
Nigeria finished the Championships 3rd on the medals table among the 200 competing countries.
The next World Athletics U20 Championships holds in Colombia next year.