A semblance of the women’s 100m final at the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF) will be at play at the forthcoming Making of Champions (MoC) 2nd Grand Prix set to take centre stage at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos State this weekend.
At least four finalists from that stacked field in Abuja, will be in action at the event. One of the main challengers for the women’s 100m crown is defending champion from the 1st MoC Grand Prix, Mercy Ntia-Obong of the Nigeria Customs, who will open her 2019 season at the meet.
Ntia-Obong had clocked Personal Bests (PB) on her way to winning GOLD last year, running a time of 11.46s (+1.6) in the heats and a slightly wind-aided time of 11.24s (+2.1) in the final.
The 2nd MoC Grand Prix will also count as a season-opener for Peace Uko of the NSCDC, while Joy Udo-Gabriel of MoC will be making her second official appearance over the event this season.
Udo-Gabriel’s first major competition for the year was the Gaborone International Meet held in Botswana in April where she raced to a Season’s Best (SB) of 11.56s to place 2nd in her race. She also won the 200m in another SB of 24.14s.
It will be recalled that Ntia-Obong, Uko and Udo-Gabriel were engaged in a battle for supremacy in December at the NSF, and Uko claimed Silver in the race, while Udo-Gabriel settled for Bronze, with Ntia-Obong finishing 4th.
At the 1st MoC Grand Prix last year, Ntia-Obong had beaten Udo-Gabriel to the title in a keenly contested race, and Athletics fans will be watching out to see if history will be repeated, or if a new champion will emerge in the women’s 100m.
For the first time this season, the trio will be pitted against each other in what promises to be a mouthwatering clash.
Marvelous Asemota who placed 7th in the women’s 100m final at the NSF, is also included in the list of athletes to watch out for in the event, having narrowly missed the podium at the 1st MoC Grand Prix where she was beaten to Bronze by Blessing Ogundiran.
Considering that qualification for the African Games and IAAF World Championships are at stake, these athletes are expected to go all out and leave nothing to chance. Their male counterparts such as Divine Oduduru, Raymond Ekevwo and most recently, Usheoritse Itsekiri, have already qualified for the World Championships.
Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor is the only female sprinter to have secured her spot at the championships, and the likes of Ntia-Obong, Uko and Udo-Gabriel will be aiming to join her in Doha.