UTEP great Churandy Martina finished fifth in the men’s 200m final on Thursday night, while another Miner great Blessing Okagbare and the Nigerian 4x100m relay team qualified Thursday morning for the final at the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro.
Martina of the Netherlands clocked a time of 20.13, .01 second behind Great Britain’s Adam Gemili. Jamaican Usain Bolt, by no surprise, claimed the gold medal (19.78), while Canada’s Andre De Grasse (20.02) took the silver medal. France’s Christophe Lemaitre edged out Gemili to win the bronze with a time of 20.12.
Okagbare and her Nigerian teammates (Gloria Asumnu, Olivia Ekpone & Agnes Osazuwa) will compete in the women’s 4x100m relay final on Friday at 7:15 p.m. MT. The Nigerians will sprint in lane three, while the United States will take off from lane one and Canada from lane two.
The Nigerian relay team finished second with a time of 42.55 in heat two to earn the qualification. Germany finished first by registering a time of 42.18, while Trinidad & Tobago took third (42.62). The Jamaican sprinters won the first heat with a time of 41.79, followed by Great Britain (41.93), the Ukraine (42.49) and Canada (42.70). The United States, after a bump caused a botched handoff in the second heat, ran a lone third heat, clocking a time of 41.77.
Okagbare last medaled at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, claiming the bronze in the 4x100m relay.