23rd July, 2021
Esther Toko became the first Nigerian athlete to compete at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, taking to the water at the Sea Forest Waterway early on Friday morning in the women’s Singles Sculls of the Rowing event.
However, Toko finished 5th in heat 1 of her event, clocking a time of 8:58.49 as she settled for a place in the Repechage, finishing outside the top three positions that would have granted automatic qualifications.
The 21-year-old was 1:08.78 behind fourth-placed Alejandra Alonso of Paraguay (8:11.88) and 2:28.56 ahead of Esraa Khogali of Sudan (10:18.27).
But all three rowers could only qualify for the classification series after the first three rowers in the heat had clinched the tickets to the quarter-finals from their heat.
Kara Kohler of the U.S won the heat in a time of 7:49.71.
Tatsiana Klimovich of Belarus (7:51.86) and Nazanin Malaei (7:59.01) of Iran joined her in heading to the last eight.
Toko will now take part in Saturday’s Repechage 2 at the same venue.