Sports

Athletics: Sports Minister Impressed With Ofili, Nathaniel, Others

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development @hmsundaydare is happy with the early season form of some Nigerian athletes, mostly the student athletes participating in collegiate competitions and a few others based at home.

Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha, Tobi Amusan, Udodi Onwuzurike, Ezekiel Nathaniel, Raymond Ekevwo, Alaba Akintola, Favour Ashe, Chinecherem Nnamdi and Dubem Amene are some of the Nigerians athletes abroad that have posted impressive times and marks so far this season.

Ofili ran a new national record of 21.96s in the 200m to win the Tom Jones Memorial Classic 2022, becoming the first Nigerian woman and collegiate athlete ever to run sub 22 seconds over the distance.

The 19-year-old is the top-ranked athlete in the event in the world so far this year and the only one to run inside 22 seconds.

Indoors, Ofili is also the only Nigerian woman ever to run a sub 23 seconds over the 200m distance.

She is also ranked the eighth fastest woman so far in the world over the 100m distance after improving her personal best to 11.00 seconds a forthnight ago.

Ofili’s compatriots Rosemary Chukwuma with a personal best of 11.05 seconds and Grace Nwokocha with a season’s best of 11.13 seconds in the 100 metres are also highly rated this year.

Tobi Amusan is ranked the fastest African athlete in the 100m hurdles so far this year and holds a personal season’s best of 12.61 seconds.

For the men, Udodi Onwuzurike is the 11th fastest man in the world so far this year following his impressive 10.07 seconds performance in the blue ribband event last month while Raymond Ekevro, the reigning African Games 100m champion is returning to reckoning after an injury plaughed 2021. The 23-year-old ran 10.11 seconds in the event over the weekend at Walnut, California.

Akintola (10.09s), Ashe (10.11s) and Godson Oke Oghenebrume (10.12s) also posted personal bests in the 100m event just last weekend.

In the 400m hurdles, Ezekiel Nathaniel is looking to become the first Nigerian in seven years and the fourth in the history of the event to run a sub 49 seconds

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