2023 World Athletics Championships: Ogunlewe surges past Alaba, moves into contention for a spot in 100m event

Seye Ogunlewe’s dream of running in an individual event at World Athletics’ flagship event, the World Championships, has received a boost following the recent update of the 100m ranking scores for the competition which holds next month in Budapest, Hungary.

The 31 year who ran in the 4x100m relay team that got disqualified at the 17th edition of the Championships in Doha in 2019 put himself in a strong position to make Nigeria’s team to Budapest after coming second at the selection trials held earlier this month in Benin City, Edo state.

Ogunlewe, son of a very influential Nigerian politician, will however need to either make the automatic entry standard or get in a good ranking position to get a looking in as far as selection is concerned.

The former school boy track star gave his chances a boost with his impressive three runs inside 10.10 seconds in the three of his five races under consideration viz the 10.04 performance in Graz, Austria on June 16 and the 10.08 and the lifetime best-setting 10.03 he ran at the Lagos Athletics Series League Finals at Yabatech Sport Complex in Lagos about a forthnight ago.

Ogunlewe has now chalked up 1205 points ranking score to move 62nd in the ranking against Alaba Akintola who is 72nd with a 1197 points ranking score.

As it stands now (Tuesday July 25, 2023), Ogunlewe will be in the team to Budapest as those who rank above him and reigning Nigeria champion, Ushoritse Itshekiri are Americans, Britons and Jamaicans who are ineligible because their respective countries have filled up the mandatory three athletes (except USA with a wild card for four) per the event allowed by World Athletics.

If the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, sticks to its vow of not rewarding athletes who snubbed the World Championships trials with slots, the next two athletes according to their ranking scores will be Itshekiri (whose score looks unassaibale) and Ogunlewe (who will need to run at least one more race to secure the spot.

Interestingly, there are a number of countries holding their national championships this week while all eyes will be on the Japanese duo of Yuki Koike and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown who are just five and six points behind Ogunlewe with Germany’s Julian Wagner the closest with 1203 ranking score.

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