All four Nigerian sprinters entered in the 200m all advances to the semis as the trio of Favour Ofili, Grace Nwokocha and Rosemary Chukwuma all ran brilliantly to secure a spot to the next round, with their male compatriot Udodi Onwuzurike the sole male representative also making it through.
Favour Ofili who’s ranked 6th in the world having raced to a National record, an early world lead and collegiate record of 21.96s comfortably won heat 6 in the women’s 200m at the Eugene world championships clocking a fast 22.24s finishing ahead of USA’s Jenna Prandini(22.38s) and Australia’s Jacinta Beecher(23.22s).
100m semifinalist Grace Nwokocha gave a good account of herself in heat 5 racing against USA’s NCAA champion Abby Steiner who dominated the race in 22.26s, with the Nigerian securing third spot in 22.61s just behind Swiss National record holder and World Indoor champion Mujinga Kambundji who held on for second spot in 22.34s.
Rosemary Chukwuma finished 5th in heat 1 which was won by Jamaica’s world leader Shericka Jackson who comfortably took the win cruising to the in 22.33s. The Nigerian posted a time of 22.93s but luckily it was enough to advance to the semis as a non automatic qualifier.
Finally, Standard freshman and reigning world U-20 champion Udodi Onwuzurike was drawn in the same heat with the newly crowned Fred Kerley but the Nigerian fueled by the disappointment of not advancing to the next round in the 100m,ran brilliantly from lane 7 outdipping Jamaica’s Yohan Blake to finish third in a time of 20.34s behind South Africa’s Sinesipho Dambile(20.29s) and Fred Kerley who dominated the race in 20.17s.
They will be back for the 200m semifinal later this night at about 1am Nigerian time.
African Champion, Chioma Onyekwere had a best throw of 57.87m in the women’s Discus Throw prelim last night as well but wasn’t enough to progress from the qualifiers.
Well done Champs! We are proud of you!