The Physics of Winning Commonwealth Games Gold on 4x100m Relay with New African Record

The Physics of Winning  Commonwealth Games Gold on 4x100m Relay with New African Record

When the relay began, the commentators were all over England. As it picked up, Australia was also in the midst. About 5 seconds into the race, she picked Nigeria, quickly noting that the team was running a remarkable race. Tobi Amusan had given them an edge – a really brilliant start. But it must still be finished – and the last exchange of baton was crucial. Then, it happened – seamlessly and flawlessly. 

As that last baton exchanged hands, it was magical. In physics, you call that “momentum” because the last runner was put in a position to accelerate, overcoming her inertia at the highest speed possible. The commentators had quickly switched to Nigeria.

When it ended, Nigeria had won the 4x100m women’s relay final of the Commonwealth Games finishing ahead of England and Jamaica, respectively, and created a new African record. Commendations to Tobi Amusan, Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Grace Nwokocha.

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Give the coach credit. The first leg of any 4x100m Relay  is the most difficult because you are starting from zero with huge inertia to overcome. Tobi, the queen of hurdles, is a master of changing speed since running hurdles requires running, jumping, and changing pace at the highest speed possible. She did it brilliantly.

Tobi handed over to Ofili and by that time, they were near the curve. Running the curve is very tricky as you have to bend at high speed. It was Chukwuma who ran the curve before giving it to the fastest woman in Nigeria now, Nwokocha. Darly Neita of England put in an effort but Nwokocha’s speed finalized the deal. That is always the case – the last leg is always about sprinting and the fastest person runs it.

I am so proud of these young women; you can be Amusan, Ofili, Chukwuma and Nwokocha and win the world. Have confidence and work hard.


You could see – I do like sports but I really have no talent in that space. I was always coming last or being in the wrong place in football games! With no way to improve the outcome, I switched to analyses. I called and analyzed runs, games, scores etc, telling the athletes and players how to improve!!! Lol. Nicknamed Sausa – the game caller, strategist and analyst; we grew with it. (Secondary school was one of the most fascinating moments in life; hope you had a great one.)

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2 thoughts on “The Physics of Winning Commonwealth Games Gold on 4x100m Relay with New African Record

  1. We want our best sprinters to sprint for us, and we want to learn under the best teachers and professors. We also want to hire best hands to manage our businesses and empires, but when it comes to political leadership, the most important of them all, then we start to stammer and hallucinate.

    Why is there always a big divergence between the values we profess and choices we make? It’s impossible to convince anyone that you know better if you keep taking wrong turns, something needs to give in.

    We keep self-destructing…

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  2. Prof, this is the second time I’m reading you came last in something. The ending part of the post cracked me up. Haha But it’s fine, really. Those days in school, we didn’t expect the nerds and the bookies to perform in the interhouse sports, those were for backbenchers in class and very playful but brilliant ones.
    The nerds stay back and prepare for the next cowbell quiz or any competition outside school cause that’s their specialty.

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