Athletics: Ofili, Others Shine Again In US Meet

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Sprinters Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma and Favour Ashe headlined another weekend of impressive displays by Nigerian collegiate athletes in the United States of America following their incredible efforts in the 100m and 200m events.

Ofili ran a blistering 10.93s in the 100m event on Saturday at the LSU Invitational at Bernie Moore Track Stadium to win the event and move up to No. 8 on the all-time collegiate list.

The 19 year old, who already owns the collegiate record in the 200m bursts out of the blocks on the way to setting a wind legal personal best of 10.93s in the event to win the title.

Not only did she win the race, but she also beat three Olympic/world medalists whilst doing so in defeating Mikiah Brisco (10.98), Aleia Hobbs (11.11) and Jenna Prandini (11.15).

The time of 10.93 by Ofili is the fifth fastest in LSU history, eighth fastest in collegiate history, No. 5 in African history, No. 3 in Nigerian history, and it ranks as the fourth fastest wind legal time in the world this season.

Also at the LSU invitational, University of Tenneessee freshman Favour Ashe was also devastating on the track as he ran 9.79s with a 3.0 m/s tail wind. It is the fifth-fastest all-conditions time in collegiate history in the men’s 100m.

Reigning World U20 champion in the 400m, Imaobong Nse Uko ran 51.66s, the second best 400m time of her career to place third behind Kendall Ellis (51.00s) and Rosey Effiong (51.66s), daughter of former Nigeria speed king, Daniel Effiong.

Nse Uko however raced to a new 23.33s lifetime best in the 200m.

In the men’s 400m, Nathaniel Ezekiel of Baylor University also ran his second fastest 400m time ever, stopping the clock at 46.64s to place ninth in the final classification.

Chinecherem Prosper Nnamdi threw 73.06m to win the javelin event at the meet. Focus had been on the 19 year old to finally break the Nigeria record of 81.08m set by Pius Bazighe in 1999.

Nnamdi was just a centimtre outside the mark when he threw 81.07m at the Michael Johnson Invitational just last weekend.
At the Corky/Crofoot Shootout meet at the Fuller Track and Field Complex in Lubbock, Texas, Chukwuma was also in inspiring form.

The 20 year old legally dipped inside 23 seconds for the first time in her career to win the 200m race at the event and set a new Texas Tech University record.

Her 22.78s new lifetime best is the 10th-fastest time in the NCAA to be recorded this season, the fifth fastest time in the Big 12 this season, sixth fastest by an African so far this season and third by a Nigerian after Ofili (21.96s) and Tobi Amusan (22.66s).

She also moved up to number 12 in the Nigerian all-time list as she became the 19th Nigerian woman to break 23 seconds in thge half lap event.

Chukwuma also won the 100m race in 11.28s. She owns the school record in that event too after running 11.05 seconds at the Percy Beard Track, Gainesville, Florida middle of last month.

In the horizontal jumps, Ruth Usoro was first in triple jump as she hopped, stepped and jumped 13.47m, her personal season’s best. Another Nigerian, Onaara Obamuwagun was second (13.38m) behind her compatriot.

In the long jump, the 24 year old’s  6.49m effort was second best on the day as her schoolmate, Monae’ Nichols won the event with a leap of 6.74m.