2014 World Relay Bronze medallist, Patience Okon George on Sunday ran a Personal Best (PB) of 50.76s to win at the Resisprint meeting in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It now makes her Nigeria’s fastest female one lap runner since Falilat Ogunkoya ran 50.50s at the World Championships in 2001.
The Commonwealth Silver medallist, defeated Zambia’s Kabange Mupopo who equally ran a PB of 50.86s, shedding 0.01s off her National Record (NR) to finish 2nd.
Okon George has been in a good form this year since her first outing at the AFN All Comers meet held in Abuja, where she won the 800m in 2:11.54s. That same day, she went on to set an African Record of 37.25s in the 300m. Her winning streak continued at the IAAF World Challenge in Dakar a month later, where she won the 400m in a Season’s Best (SB) of 52.12s.
Going by her outstanding feat on Sunday, her new mark is currently ranked 12th on the 2015 IAAF World list which has now exceeded that former national champion, Regina George’s PB of 50.84s from 2013. If she continues with her impressive form, the home based athlete from Cross Rivers State could be looking forward to her first National Title in the 400m. However, it should be a mouth-watering contest against Regina George in what promises to be an explosive encounter at the National Championships holding from July 30th to August 1 in Calabar. Regina George on her part would be aiming to reclaim her title and possibly lower her time below the 51s mark.
African 400m Hurdles silver medallist, Amaka Ogoegbunam was also in action at the same meet on Sunday. The National Champion placed third with a SB of 55.77s, moving her up to No 30 on the IAAF top list. Ogoegbunam has a PB of 55.46s which was set at the African Championships last year.
Other Nigerian athletes who were also in action include: Udonsinachi Erete who competed in the men’s 400m Heats, finishing with a time 47.05s, and also Ezekiel Ewulo who came third in the men’s Long Jump with his leap of 7.58m.