National women’s 400m Hurdles champion and Silver medallist at the 2014 African Championships, Amaka Ogoegbunam will be Nigeria’s sole representative in the fourth leg of the IAAF Diamond League series holding on Thursday in Rome.
The hurdler who competed at the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup, comes with a Season’s Best (SB) of 57.67s, which she ran last week in Belgium, and places her on No.88 on the 2015 IAAF Top List. As such, she will be regarded as the underdog when she goes against the likes of former world champion, Lashinda Demus (55.86s), Jamaica’s Janeive Russel, who has the fastest time of 55.29s.
She also has European champion, Eilidh Child (56.56s) as well as USA’s Georganne Moline (55.74s) and Cassandra Tate (55.68s) to contend with. It means that the Nigerian has some significant catching up to do, considering that African champion, South Africa’s Wenda Nel is the current world leader in the event, after winning the World Challenge in Beijing with a Personal Best (PB) of 54.37s.
Ogoegbunam has a PB of 55.46s and opened her season with the 400m at the IAAF World Challenge in Dakar, Senegal last month where she placed 4th with 54.06s, behind compatriot, Patience Okon-George who won the race.
Nigeria’s record holder in the event, Ajoke Odumosu has also raced in a couple of meetings since her return to the track in 2015, after taking time off to have a baby. She currently occupies the 68th position on the Top List with a time of 57.27s as against her PB of 54.40s.