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Akintola rates Nigeria’s chances of winning 4x100m relay medal high |

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Chukwuma blames her 100m failure on late take off
United States-based Nigerian sprinter, Alaba Akintola, is sure the country will make a podium finish in the men’s 4x100m relay, which will begin tomorrow at the ongoing Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Akintola will begin his campaign in the 200m event today and if he scales the preliminary round, he will feature in the 200m final on Friday before joining the country’s 4x100m relay team on Saturday.

At the last edition of the Championships in Oregon, U.S., Akintola qualified to represent Nigeria, but he couldn’t make the party.

“At Oregon, I had already bought my ticket and was about to depart Tennessee for Oregon, only to be told to stay back. That was because I could not complete the three mandatory tests before the championships.

“Now, my target is to improve on my Personal Best, qualify for the final in the 200m and book my ticket for Paris 2024 Olympics Games. If I get to the final in the 200m, anything can happen,” he stated.

In June this year, at the National Trials in Benin City, Edo State, the former Middle Tennessee sprinter won his second consecutive national title in the men’s 200m to prove himself as a force to reckon with in Nigerian athletics. He won the title with an impressive time of 20.67secs.

He will join Usheoritse Itsekiri, who won the men’s 100m title in Benin City, Ashe Favour and Seye Ogunlewe in the relay battle.

The absence of Godson Brume and Udodi Onwuzurike notwithstanding, Akintola says the 4x100m relay team is still formidable.

The team is also without Adekalu Nicholas Fakorede, who could not get his visa to Budapest when he was drafted in as replacement for Godson Brume.

“We are working as a team, and I am confident that if our baton exchange is smooth, we will get a medal in the 4x100m relay,” Akintola told The Guardian at their Park Inn hotel Radisson in Budapest l.

Meanwhile, Rosemary Chukwuma, who finished in the last position in her women’s 100m semifinal group on Monday evening, has admitted that she made a mistake by taking off late from the blocks.

“My take off during the preliminary round on Sunday was far better,” Chukwuma told The Guardian at the National Athletics Stadium in Budapest. “It’s so sad I couldn’t meet my target of reaching the final.

“I made a mistake at the starting point, and it became difficult for me to catch up with them. During the preliminary round, my take off was excellent, which was why I made it to the semifinal. In 100m race, any mistake is costly. I have learnt my lesson and this won’t repeat itself again,” she stated.

U.S.-based Chukwuma returned a time of 11.26secs to place eight in the race won by Jamaican and defending champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 10.89secs to qualify for the final.

American Tamari Davis placed second in the race in 10.98secs to also qualify for the final. Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson won the second semifinal in 10.79secs to also qualify for the final alongside Marie-Josee Ta Lou from Cote d’Ivoire, who also returned 10.79secs to qualify for the final.

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