If the qualification window for the Tokyo Olympics were to be shut today, Nigeria will have the women’s 4x100m relay team battling for one of the three medals on offer at the Games.
This followed the official release Monday of the qualification ranking of countries bidding to qualify for Tokyo Olympics by World Athletics after the end of the two-day World Relays in Poland.
The first eight places in each relay event for Tokyo were awarded to the top eight teams at the World Athletics Championships in Doha in 2019.
In cases where those teams have also qualified in the top eight in Poland, the remaining quota places for Tokyo (16 per event) will be allocated according to the World Athletics top performance lists as at 29 June 2021.
In the women’s 4x100m event, only two slots are available after the conclusion of the World Relays and Brazil (15) and Nigeria (16) currently occupy those two positions based on World Athletics top list of performances drawn from May 2019 till Monday May 3,2021.
What this means is that the Nigerian team only needs to compete in more relay events, run faster than the 43.05 seconds achieved in Doha in 2019 and stay ahead of some of its major competitors which include Australia (17), Kazakhstan (18), Canada (19) and Ghana (20).
The women’s 4x400m team also has a great chance of qualifying based on the ranking and the quality of the nations who occupy the remaining four slots available for grabs after the World Relays.
The team is ranked the 17th best behind Australia in 13th (3:28.64), Switzerland in 14th (3:29.15), India in 15th (3:29.42) and Dominican Republican in 16th (3:30.02) but athletics watchers believe Nigeria, with the full complement of their team can run at least 3:26 to move into 13th and qualify.
This permutation would have been needless if the Athletics Federation of Nigeria had not used sentiment to pick the team to the World Championship in Doha purely on sentiment.