As the 2021 Track & Field indoor season got more into rhythm, Nigerian athletes were in action in events over the weekend in the US, competing at meets ranging from the World Indoor Tour Gold to the NCAA.
Commonwealth GOLD medallist, Tobi Amusan opened up her season nicely at the World Indoor Tour Gold in Karlsruhe in the 60m Hurdles where she won her heat in a time of 8.01s ahead of European Champion Elvira Herman who clocked 8.02s as Reetta Hurske placed 3rd in 8.04s.
In the final run much later, Amusan staged a beautiful race and looked like she was going for the win, but for the strong finish of Finland’s Nooralotta Neziri who came through from the last lane to take the win in a Personal Best (PB) and National Record (NR) of 7.92s.
Amusan held her ground for 2nd as she clocked a Season’s Best (SB) of 7.94s ahead of Nadine Visser who ran 7.96s (SB) in 3rd.
Chidi Okezie competed at the second leg of the indoor American Track League Meet in Fayetteville (AR) over 200m, his 2nd meet of the year, running a time of 21.15s to place 3rd in his heat which was won Jereem Richards in 20.74s and Rodney Rowe in 20.95s.
Okezie whose time was the fourth fastest in the two heats, the first of which was won by Deon Leondore in a time of 20.89s, is currently Nigeria’s highest ranked quarter-miler in the world, sitting at 53rd on the World Athletics rankings and is in a strong position to grab a slot to the Tokyo Olympics.
Ruth Usoro got to compete again two weeks after she set a Nigerian Record in the Triple Jump and seems to very well be establishing her presence on the collegiate circuit as she landed another win in the event at the Texas Tech Invitational in Lubbock, breaking sand at a big 14.07m in one of her two legal attempts,
Finishing ahead of Deborah Acquah who jumped 13.75m and Chelsey Cole at 13.01m, Usoro comfortably owns the top 3 marks in the NCAA this season and sits in 3rd on the global toplist.
Another Triple Jumper in action was Onaara Obamuwagun at the South Plains Invite in Texas, going out to a total PB of 13.38m to comfortably win the event.
Competing for the first time this year, Rosemary Chukwuma dominated the women’s 60m at the same meet as she won in an SB of 7.46s, followed by teammate Success Umukoro who made her debut in the NCAA, running 7.76s in 2nd position.