Making of Champions rising star Maria Umoibang has qualified for the sprint double at the forthcoming World U20 Championships in Nairobi after storming to a new Personal Best (PB) of 24.31s to win the women’s 200m at the Paga/MoC Relays held on Sunday, June 27th at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex in Lagos.

Umoibang’s time was the overall fastest across the two finals in the women’s 200m, surpassing the Entry Standard of 24.35s for the World U20 Championships.

An excited Maria Umoibang after winning the women’s 200m final.

The 16-year old accomplished this feat barely two hours after clocking the third overall fastest time across the three 100m heats where she posted 11.79s in Heat 1 which was won by Ogundiran in 11.54s.

This is coming against the backdrop of her inspiring performance at the recently-concluded Nigerian Olympic Trials where she made the finals of the stacked women’s 100m event, running a wind-aided 11.59s in the process.

Maria Umoibang in action at the Nigerian Olympic Trials where she competed in a stacked 100m final in the women’s event.

Umoibang had earlier qualified in the 100m (for the World U20 Champs) after setting PBs of 11.84s and 11.81s respectively at the BetKing/3rd MoC Grand Prix back in March, bettering the entry standard of 11.85s. She has since improved her PB to 11.73s. Interestingly, her older sister Mercy has also qualified for the 400m, making it a clean sweep of the World U20 Sprints qualification for the Umoibang sisters!

National Sports Festival (NSF) Silver medallist Miracle Thompson was another athlete that triumphed in her event, taking the win in the women’s 100m Hurdles in a time of 14.24s.

Miracle Thompson won the 100m Hurdles at the Paga/MoC Relays in Lagos.

National Championships 400m Silver medallist Emmanuel Ojeli competed in Team Nigeria’s B team in the mixed 4x400m where he anchored the squad which also comprised Yinka Ajayi, Sikiru Adeyemi and Amarachukwu Obi to 2nd place in a time of 3:19.39.

The MoC quartet of Blessing Oladoye, Moyosore Badejo, Adeola Ayo and Olubunmi Lateef finished 4th in 3:27.33 in that race.

Newly crowned 200m Champion Jerry Jakpa competed in the A Team of the men’s 4x100m at the Paga/MoC Relays.

National 200m Champion Jerry Jakpa formed a part of the men’s Team A 4x100m relay squad that was in pursuit of qualification for the Tokyo Olympics, partnering with Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itsekiri and Godson Brume to a time of 38.63s in the semis and a Season’s Best of 38.53s in the final, narrowly falling short of 38.46s needed to qualify.

Jakpa’s teammate and sensational sprinter Favour Ashe was in the B team of the men’s 4x100m relay pool where he joined forces with Thankgod Igube, Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Nicholas Fakorede to finish 2nd to the A team in 39.87s and 40.12s in the semis and final respectively.

Teenager Favour Ashe represented Team Nigeria in the 4x100m at the Paga/MoC Relays.

Beacon Power Services-sponsored Gracious Ushie clocked the fifth fastest time overall across all 10 heats in the men’s 100m, dominating Heat 5 with a time of 10.58s while Inioluwa Mebawondu was 2nd in his heat where he returned a time of 10.84s and placed 3rd in his 200m race. Favour Ekpekpe settled for 2nd in his own 200m race while Saheed Jimoh finished 6th in the same race.

Moyosore Badejo competed in both the 100m and 200m, placing 2nd in her 100m heat and 3rd in her 200m final, as Kelechi Christian placed 3rd in her 100m/200m races respectively. Fidelia Ucheobi competed in the 100m and Long Jump and finished 5th in both of her events.


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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