Nse Imaobong Uko became the fastest female junior over the 400m when she stormed to GOLD to win the event at the ongoing World Athletics U20 Championships taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.
Nse, the 2021 National Sports Festival champion, came into the championships as the topped ranked athlete over the distance, and after cruising through her heat, she delivered a performance for the ages as she stormed to victory in 51.55s, a new Personal Best for her.
Running from lane 6, Nse didn’t get the best of start as she attacked the first curve slowing keeping within touching distance of Poland’s sprinter Kornelia Lesiewicz who was in the lead around 250m.
Nse held her nerve and as she approached the home straight, she began to pull away from Lesiewicz opening up a 5m gap to cross the finish line first. She inspired Lesiewicz to a PB as she came through for 2nd in 51.97, with Slyvia Chekangat taking 3rd for host nation Kenya.
The victory ensures that Nse now becomes the first woman since Folashade Abugan to win GOLD for Nigeria in this event at the World U20 Championships since 2008.
It’s been a long journey for Nse and her progression from being the fastest 400m runner in Akwa Ibom in 2017 to wining double GOLD at the National Youth Games Champion in 2018 as well as claiming the National Sports Festival titles in 2018 and 2021, has put her in the right trajectory to greatness in this event.
Just signed into Baylor University a couple of days back, Nse will be hoping to build on these achievements to go on to potentially being an Olympic medallist for Nigeria.