The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) has handed the Nigeria women's 4x100m relay team the 16th and last qualification position at next month's 24th Olympics Games in Beijing, China.
Nigeria got an out of jail card and ticket to the Games after having failed to sneak into the top 16 fastest nations courtesy of Finland's withdrawal today, and will now compete in Beijing.
With the Scandinavian nation stepping down, Nigeria moved up to the 16th - Cuba (originally 16th) had earlier declined their invitation for the women’s 4 x100m and was replaced by Thailand, originally 17th - and final qualifying spot.
When the relay teams to the Games of XXIX Olympiad, Beijing 2008, were announced by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) on 21 July, Nigeria was in 18th position in the women’s 4 x100m qualification standings.
Last week, Nigeria's last ditched and ill advised efforts at muscling the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to field a women's 4x100m team in Beijing was thrown out after the IAAF argued that the country had two years to qualify for the event(deadline being set for 16th July, 2008) so the inability to get Schengen visas for their athletes to attend meets in Europe was no excuse.
Watch the Nigeria relay team qualification below - women's 100m final at the Nigerian trials in 2008.
The Nigerian Athletics Federation (AFN) organised a CAA Permit meet in Abuja early last month, yet failed to notify the IAAF on time to approve Relay events in the programme and in effect the times ran by the teams were not ratified.
So the unfortunate athletes affected had to leave camp and head back home, their Olympic aspirations quashed through no fault of theirs.
However, with the new development, the team comprising of African sprint champion, Damola Osayemi, Franca Idoko, Gloria Kemasuode, Halimat Ismaila and Agnes Osazuwa can now cancel their vacation plans and head for Beijing.