In the last six years, Nigeria’s women’s sprinting has churned out a massive array of talents, igniting a high level of competitiveness and depth in the event. With the current state of the women’s sprints, it is safe to say that Nigerian Athletics is in good hands, albeit the pursuit for Olympic glory is still ongoing as some of the country’s leading athletes are doing everything possible to achieve the standard before the qualification window closes on June 30th.

Rosemary Chukwuma at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon

Rosemary Chukwuma is one of the heavy favourites for the 100m and 200m titles. She clocked the second-fastest time by a Nigerian woman in the 100m with a time of 10.88s, which doubled as a Personal Best (PB) to qualify for the Olympics after running a series of wind-aided 10.8s for the past two years.

Chukuma had a wonderful NCAA season where she finally got on the podium of the women’s 100m after claiming the Bronze medal. She will aim to carry on the same momentum to the Olympic Trials as she is yet to attain the qualifying standard in the 200m. She currently owns a Season’s Best (SB) of 22.96s in the event set back in April.

Tima Godbless at the 2022 African Championships

National Junior Record Holder in the 100m Tima Godbless has come a long way from overcoming injury in the early part of the season, to establishing herself as one of the standout athletes in the country. Godbless is currently the only Nigerian sprinter, male or female, to qualify for the Olympics in both the 100m and 200m. She had an amazing freshman year at the Louisiana State University (LSU) where she made three finals (100m, 200m & 4x100m) at the NCAA Championships.

She clocked PBs of 11.03s and 22.56 across the 100m and 200m and also ran the anchor leg that sealed the country’s spot at the Olympics in the women’s 4x100m at the World Relays held in the Bahamas in May. Last year, Godbless got injured during the semis of the 100m at the same stadium where the Olympic Trials will be hosted this year. She will be hoping to go back there to redeem herself.

Favour Ofili at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Fresh off her win at the New York City Grand Prix where she defeated a stacked field in the women’s 100m, Ofili will be making her return to the Nationals. The Nigerian Record holder in the women’s 200m has already gotten the Olympic Standard in the 200m in her season opener in the event with a time of 22.33s. She later ran a 22.34s over a headwind of 2.0m/s.

Ofili has yet to run the 200m since April and might be running the event where she won the National title back in 2019! Ofili might be focusing more on the 100m where she hasn’t been fortunate due to wind readings. She ran wind-aided times of 10.78s and 10.85s respectively, and will be hoping that the wind is in her favour this time around. She also was a part of the Olympic-qualifying 4x100m quartet at the World Relays in the Bahamas.

Olajide Olayinka at the 2023 African Games in Accra

Olayinka Olajide is the recent breakout sprinter this season. After returning to competition this year following a three-year hiatus, she has shown massive improvement and doesn’t look like she’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Olajide completed the double at the MTN CHAMPS/African Games Trials in PBs of 11.19s and 23.24s respectively, and went on to become the country’s most decorated sprinter at the African Games in Accra, Ghana where she stormed away with a complete medal set (100m – Bronze, 200m – Silver & 4x100m GOLD).

Olajide also represented Nigeria at the World Relays where she ran the penultimate leg. The fastest home based athlete in both the 100m and 200m will be looking for an extra gear in trying to qualify for the Olympics.

Justina Eyakpobeyan at the blocks at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest

Justina Eyakpobeyan who was among the great talents discovered last year has now matured into a fierce competitor on the domestic front. The Commonwealth Youth Games medallist competed at her second senior international assignment at the African Games in Accra, Ghana where she came 5th in the 100m and won Gold in the 4x100m. She ran the lead-off leg at the World Relays, which helped Nigeria secure its spot at the Olympics in the 4x100m.

Eyakpobeyan clocked a PB of 11.24s nearly two weeks ago at the MOC Grand Prix and seems to be in high spirits as she inches closer towards clinching the Olympic ticket she desperately desires.

Other sprinters in the mix include Praise Idamadudu (200m -22.81s), Victoria Aransiola – (200m-22.87s), Yakubu Balikis (100m – 11.27s; 200m -23.16s), and Victory Godah (100m – 11.27s; 200m – 23.16s).

Gregory Airende is an enthusiastic Sportswriter and Analyst who has an in-depth knowledge of various sports like Athletics, Football, Basketball, and Gymnastics. His work experience include being a content writer at The Athletic Heat, to a Football Analyst at Sportskeeda and now a Junior Sportswriter at Making of Champions.


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