Stephanie Kalu will be hoping for a good outing in 2017. Photo Credit:

Nigeria’s Stephanie Kalu made a winning start to her 2017 season, clinching victory in the women’s 60m with a time of 7.29s at the Leonard Hilton Memorial meet held last Friday in Houston, Texas.

It was a time that was marginally close to her Personal Best (PB) of 7.28s, which she set three years ago in New York.

Kalu eased through the preliminaries, running the fastest time of all four heats as she won Heat 2 with a time of 7.39s, even further improving in the semis with a time of 7.36s. She was undoubtedly the favourite even ahead of Sharika Nelvis who had won Heat 1 of the semifinals with a time of 7.38s.

With Nelvis false-starting in the final, the coast was clear for Kalu who comfortably secured victory, beating Tawana Meadows who finished 2nd in 7.42s, and Tameka Williams 3rd in 7.53s.

This could be the tonic Kalu needs to bounce back after the promise she showed in 2015 when she nearly clinched the Nigerian women’s 100m title, narrowly losing out to Gloria Asumnu then in Warri.

If Kalu continues with this form into the season, who knows, she could go on to hit the 2015 heights when she was in the frame for a Nigerian call-up. And with the 2017 World Championships beckoning, she could be well placed for a second bow in London.

Meanwhile at this same meet in Texas, young Tia Omagbemi looked to be toeing her parents’ path, finishing 2nd in Section 2 of the women’s 200m with a time of 26.00s. The race was won by Nikesha Keith who crossed the line in 25.52s.

Omagbemi is the daughter of African sprinting sensations, Mary Onyali and Victor Omagbemi. Can she go on to become as successful as her parents, especially her mother, on the track?

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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