Nigeria Finishes 3rd With 7 Medals At World Athletics Under-20 Championships
The athletes amassed 7 medals — four gold and three bronze — to rank behind Kenya, the host, and Finland at the end of the competition on Sunday.
The Scandinavians narrowly usurped Nigeria from the second position with four gold and a silver medal as Kenya topped with 16 medals — eight gold, one silver and seven bronze.
Team Nigeria won its first gold on the event’s opening day, with the quartet of Chidera Johnson Nnamani, Deborah Opeyemi Oke, Imaobong Nse-Uko and Bamidele Ajayi setting a championship record in the 4×400 meters relay.
The contingent waited till day 3 before securing another medal came. Chinecherem Nnamdi became Nigeria’s first medallist in the field event at a junior championship since 2002 as he struck bronze in the javelin event.
On day 4, the youngsters raked in three medals. Nse-Uko claimed gold in the women’s 400m event after clocking a new personal best of 51.55 seconds.
Udodi Onwuzurike stormed to gold in the men’s 200m to become the first Nigerian to achieve the feat since Francis Obikwelu won the event in Sydney in 1996.
Favour Ofili, however, could only finish with bronze behind Namibia’s duo of Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi in the women’s 200 meters.
Nigeria then won two medals on the championships’ final day of action.
Praise Ofoku, Favour Ofili, Anita Traviore and Tima GodBless dipped a time of 43.90 seconds to win bronze in the women’s 4x100m relay event behind Jamaica and Namibia, who won the gold and silver medals, respectively.
Nigeria’s final golden moment in Nairobi came in the women’s 4x400m relay event.
The quartet of Opeyemi Oke, Ella Onojuvwevwo, Nse-Uko and Ofili, with a time of 3:31:46 seconds, secured the country’s fourth overall gold medal.
These athletes are now entitled to cash rewards as Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare earlier announced that athletes receive $5000 for Gold, $3000 for Silver, and $2000 for Bronze medals.
World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe hailed the athletes, teams and organisers for their dedication and determination to make this a successful event despite the logistical challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many of the younger athletes who have featured in Nairobi will also have the chance to compete at the next World Athletics U20 Championships, being held in Cali, Colombia, next year.