An athletics statistician, Olalekan Soetan has declared that 100m hurdler, Oluwatobiloba Amusan and the 4x400m women’s relay team can still shine better for Nigeria beyond the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championships in London.
Though his initial permutation was that they would even win medals at London 2017, Soetan says he is now looking beyond whatever might have caused Nigeria’s slumps in Lopndon and expecting a better future for the nation in years to come.
The statistician, who is also a hurdles coach, made the assertion in an interview with the SportsDay, after the 400m women failed to qualify for the final of their event on August 7.
“We went to the World Championships with athletes running 51.00secs, 52.00secs, who are not ranked among the first 16 in the world.
“So, I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t get to the final. They were the best, the country could have featured judging by their performances,’’ he said.
It is also reported that Patience Okon-George returned 7th position with a time of 52.60secs, Yinka Ajayi came 6th with 52.10secs and Margaret Bamgbose returned 8th in 52.23secs in their respective heats.
He added that Amusan ranked among the best 10 athletes in the world and the 4x400m women, based on their individual timing were the major hope for winning a medal.
“Amusan is the only one ranked among the best 10 in the world in her event, she is someone that can pull through in her event and win a medal. And she has been consistent,’’ Soetan said.
Commenting on Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor’s failure to qualify for the semi-finals of the 100m, Soetan said that in spite of ageing, the sprinter had not perfected her skills.
“She is strong no doubt, but for me she has not been perfecting her skills, if you are ageing, that is the reason why you need to keep practising,’’ he submitted.