A number of Nigerian athletes kick-started their 2018 season on a high at the 2018 Dr.  Martin Luther King Collegiate Invitational, which was held from January 12th to 14th at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico, with Oluwatobiloba Amusan storming to a Personal Best (PB) of 7.89s to win Heat 3 of the women’s 60m Hurdles.

Amusan’s time was the overall fastest, while Rebecca Osinbajo finished 5th in Heat 1 (8.63s) and didn’t make the final. It was Amusan’s first race representing Adidas, and the hurdler will be excited at setting such a mark while donning the apparel of the brand.

Amusan’s time is currently No.2 on the world list, with World Record (WR) holder Kendra Harrison occupying the No.1 spot with 7.82s. Amusan went on to win the final in 7.95s, while USC’s duo of Dior Hall (7.98s) and Anna Cockrell (8.02s) followed in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Rio 2016, 2016 African Championships
Regina George has returned to competition, having sat out the 2017 season.

Having sat out the 2017 Athletics season, Nigerian quartermiler Regina George returned to the track at the same meet where she clocked the second overall fastest time in the women’s 400m.

Competing in Heat 1, George finished 2nd with a Season’s Best (SB) of 53.94s as Kyra Constantine clocked the fastest time of 53.20s.

Meanwhile at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University Freshman Cecilia Francis competed in the women’s 60m where she finished 6th in 7.44s, which is just 0.04s off her PB set in France in 2016. The race was won by Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste with a time of 7.25s.

Teammate Abike Egbeniyi was 2nd in the women’s 400m with an SB of 53.89s, which makes her the fastest Nigerian in the event this season. Fellow Nigerian Jennifer Edobi was 4th in 54.66s.

Both Francis and Egbeniyi were in action at the Edward Temple Classic in Nashville on January 5th where Francis won both the 55m and 200m races, returning times of 6.91s and 24.97s respectively. Her time in the 55m is a PB, the fastest in the NCAA and 3rd fastest in the world at the moment.

Loveth Odia was 3rd in the 200m with 25.57s, while Egbeniyi won the 400m in 55.07s.

Cecilia Francis kick-started her collegiate career by topping the NCAA 55m list.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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