A tail wind of 2.4m/s denied sprinter Rosemary Chukwuma the chance of becoming the sixth Nigerian woman to race inside 11 seconds on Saturday at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships ongoing at the Fuller Track Stadium at Texas Tech University, Texas, USA.
The time could have made the 20 year old the fourth fastest Nigerian in the event, ahead of former African sprint queen, Mary Onyali and behind Blessing Okagbare (1079s), Glory Alozie (10.90s) and Favour Ofili (10.93s).
The illegal wind could not however prevent the Nigerian from racing into the final where she will get another opportunity to legally race into Nigerian history books. The final holds on Sunday.
The wind could not also stop the Nigerian from qualifying for the 200m final after running a wind legal 22.78s to equal her personal best set a little over two weeks ago on the same ground.
Chukwuma has now legally broken 23 seconds twice this season and all eyes will be on her in the final.
Also set to be the cynosure of all eyes will be Imaobong Nse Uko, the Baylor University undergraduate student who raced inside 52s for the second time this season.
The 18 year old ran 51.89s to qualify for Sunday’s final of the event.
Only last month, she ran 51.66s, a personal season’s best at the LSU Invitational to break 52s for the first time since she ran a new 51.51s personal best to win the 400m title at the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year.
She however failed to advance in the 200m after finishing 11th in the final classification with her 23.40s finish which incidentally is her second fastest time ever over the distance after setting a new 23.33s personal best a little over two weeks ago at LSU’s Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Texas Tech University’s Knowledge Omovoh (52.92s) also made the final as one of the fastest losers.
In the women’s long jump, Ruth Usoro finally rediscovered the form that made her dominate the collegiate triple jump and long jump scene last year after leaping to a new 6.78m personal best to qualify for the final.