Nigeria’s track and field team had a mixed day on the eighth day of events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with its participation in the Women’s 100m heats and the mixed 4X400m relays, with six of Nigeria’s elite athletes representing the country.
The duo of Blessing Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha excelled in their various heats at the 100m event to qualify for the semifinals of the event, which are due to hold on Day Nine of the competition. In the day’s second event, the quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Imaobong Nse Uko, Samson Nathaniel and Patience Okon-George represented Nigeria in the inaugural mixed 4X400m relay, creating a new African record of 3:13.60 seconds to finish in sixth place and miss out on qualification for the finals. The team was missing US-born Chidi Okezie, who was a member of the side that secured qualification to the Olympics.
In basketball, the D’Tigress were humbled by their French counterparts 87-62, leaving them on the verge of being eliminated from the Olympics at the first hurdle. The Nigerian side started the game slowly, with France racing into an eight-point lead before Nigeria picked up a single point and tied up the game at 11-11 in the first quarter. The French went on to win the first quarter 18-12 and the second quarter 26-15 to go into a 44-27 lead at halftime. France made use of Nigeria’s flawed press against them as they found a very easy pass every time Nigeria tried to press them high and regain possession of the ball. France won the third quarter 23-15, and the fourth quarter ended 20-20, giving France the win. Nigeria’s shooting was wayward in the game as they shot with an accuracy of 35%, with their opponents’ shooting at an accuracy of 50%. Following their loss in their opening game, D’Tigress must now win against hosts Japan to have any hopes of qualifying for the knockout rounds.