The Diamond League moves to New York tonight, and there will be ONE Nigerian Athlete on show – 100m Sprinter Gloria Asumnu, who is making her first Diamond League appearance of the season! She was part of the Nigeria’s 4x100m team that finished in a commendable 4th place at the first ever World Relays in the Bahamas in May.

Nigeria's 4x100m World Relay 4th-place team   (L-R, Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asumnu, Dominique Duncan, Francesca Okwara)
Nigeria’s 4x100m World Relay 4th-place team
(L-R, Blessing Okagbare, Gloria Asumnu, Dominique Duncan, Francesca Okwara

Asumnu will be attempting to improve on her Season’s best of 11.20s, as she squares up against some solid runners in the 100 metres tonight, not least USA’s Tori Bowie, a long jumper who has stamped her authority on the sprint scene so far this season, with a solid 200m win just ahead of Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare in Eugene, and a 100m win in Rome! She’ll also some up against Jamaica’s Samanthan Henry-Robinson,who is the fastest in the field this season at 11.00s, and their 2008 Olympic Silver Medallist Kerron Stewart. Could we see the first sub-11 second race in the women’s 100 metres this season? Gloria will certainly have to be close to her lifetime best of 11.03s to be in with a chance to win this race!

Nigeria’s 400m Champion and World Relay Bronze Medallist, Regina George, was in line for her second Diamond League appearance of the season, but as of this morning, it seems that she is no longer on the 400m start-list tonight. She is certainly one to watch out for very soon – she bounced back from a disappointing 8th place finish at her first Diamond League appearance this season in Shanghai, to lead Nigeria’s 4x400m Girls to an awesome Bronze medal at the first ever World Relays in the Bahamas last month.What was special about George’s run in that team was a scorching 49.4s split on the second leg, which was the fastest split of any athlete in the race – even faster than Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills split of 49.7s, which the IAAF erroneously reported was the quickest of any athlete (this is what happens when we don’t take ownership of reporting on our athletes – nobody else will)!

Instead, the closest of any sort of Nigerian interest in that race will be in the form of none other than Britain’s 400m World Champion Christine Ohuruogu, making her first appearance Diamond League appearance this season. Despite being a Double World Champion and a GOLD and Silver Medallist at the Olympics, Ohuruogu often peaks very late in the season around the major tournaments, and was not in great form at the World Relays, where Team GB finished a distant 7th place to Nigeria’s 3rd in the 4×400 metres! She will have her work cut out in a strong field which includes USA’s Francena McCorory and Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann McPherson

There are intriguing match-ups all throughout the whole evening, such as Nickel Ashmeade vs Warren Weir vs Alonso Edward in the men’s 200 metres. Double Olympic Silver Medallist Yohan Blake also appearing in the 100 metres – don’t miss it!

Gloria Asumnu will compete in the 100 metres at the New York Diamond League meet TODAY (Jun 14th) at 10.50pm Nigerian Time 

SuperSport 9 (DSTV 209) will show the whole meet LIVE on June 14th,  from 9 – 11pm Nigerian Time. Women’s 400m (Ohuruogu) will be at 9.50pm, with the men’s 200m (Ashmeade, Weir) & 100m (Blake) at 10.29pm and 10.35pm respectively!

 

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Bambo Akani is the Founder and CEO of Making of Champions (MoC). He is an avid sports writer and photo-blogger, and has quickly become an internationally recognized Athletics Expert. He appeared in a new weekly Athletics segment on the Sports Tonight Show on Channels TV during the 2014 Athletics season and has also appeared on Jamaican Television and Radio to discuss the MoC "The History" Film that he Produced and Directed, and to review and analyse key events in world athletics.Bambo holds an MEng and BA in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University in the UK and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management in the US.

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