World Relays Day 1: Kenya Picks Africa’s First medals As South Africa, Ghana, Botswana shine
By Uche Dozie
At the start of an intriguing event at Selsia, Poland, Africa’s name came to limelight amongst the multiple stars from other country on Saturday night, BSNSports.com.ng reports.
In the men’s events of the 4x400m and 4x100m, Africa’s representatives came through to make sure qualification to this year’s Tokyo Olympics and Sunday’s final are secured.
It was Team South Africa Men’s 4x400m who gave the continent the first cheer as the team in 3:03:79 finished second behind Italy in the first round heat 2 to qualify for the final and secure an Olympic ticket.
In the same category, Team Botswana also qualified for the final on Sunday after winning heat 3 of the men’s 4x400m Relays first round in 3:04:03.
In the 4×100, South Africa ably led by Akani Simbine came second behind Italy to qualify for the finals in their heat . Unfortunately, it was a different story as Botswana could not qualify. Team South Africa men’s 4×100 had already qualified for Tokyo prior to the tournament.
For Ghana 4×100 Men gave a record-beaking performance to finish second in their heat to secure a place in the finals. The feat also helped the team who last qualified in 2004 to the next Olympics.
To the mixed relay finals, Kenya got two medals at the end of the two events which were decided immediately.
Ferguson Rotich and Naomi Korir Bagged silver for team Kenya in the Mixed 2x2x400m relay. They finished behind Poland with Slovenia coming third.
Team Kenya’s shuttle relay team also came third behind Germany who came first and Poland who finished second.
For the women, it was a different tale as none of the African teams made it to the final both in the 4x100m and the 4x400m category.
In 4x100m Women, Zambia did not make it after finishing fifth in their heat.
For the Ghana 4x100m Women who finished fourth were later moved to third after Brazil the winner of the heat 1 for the women’s 4x100m got disqualified after their third leg athlete stepped on the line in the exchange. Italy got upgraded to first and Japan took second. Ghana ran a Season’s Best of 44.85, but it was not enough for the team to qualify for the final.
It’s however not over for Ghana’s female 4x100m team as all they need is to run the top three fastest time in the world among the teams competing for three remaining slots to secure a Tokyo 2020 ticket.
Kenya finished last in the 4 by 400M women heat 2 at the World relays and failed to qualify for the finals. Botswana also failed to make it.