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SPORTS UPDATE

World Athletics Championships: All eyes on Favour Ofili as 200m event takes centre stage in Oregon

Star girl of Nigerian athletics, Favour Ofili will be the cynosure of all eyes when the women’s 200m event begins early Tuesday morning in Oregon.

Ofili skipped the 100m to concentrate on the 200m where the Nigerian believes she has a chance of making the podium.

The 19 year has been phenomenal on the track this year, especially in the half lap event where she raced to the top of the Nigerian all-time list indoors and out.

Indoors Ofili became the first and only Nigerian woman and second African to run inside 23 seconds when she ran 22.75 seconds last year.

She improved the time to 22.46 seconds this year before scorching to an incredible 21.96 seconds outdoors.

The time is also a new Nigerian record and second fastest in the African all-time list.

Ofili will begin her bid for a podium appearance from lane two in the final first round heat. The Nigerian, the fastest in the line up will battle former NCAA champion Jenna Prandini who is the second in the line up(22.01) and Bahamas’ Anthonique Strachan among others for the three automatic tickets on offer for the semifinal.

Ofili will not be the only Nigerian that will be in action early Tuesday morning.

Grace Nwokocha, the 100m semifinalist and Rosemary Chukwuma will also race for places in the semis.

Nwokocha has been drawn to run in the same heat (five) as Ofili’s conqueror at last month’s NCAA division 1 championships final, Aby Steiner of the USA who ran 21.77 seconds to win the collegiate title .

The Nigerian teenager will also confront 100m finalist, Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji (22.18 season’s best).

The Nigerian 100m champion is the third fastest over the 200m event in the heat this year and will run from lane four.

Former African Youth and Junior double sprint champion Chukwuma will also be in action after sorting out visa issues in Nigeria.

Chukwuma will run in the opening heat and has been drawn alongside 100m silver medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica who holds an intimidating 21.55 seconds personal best which she set this year as well as fellow Nigerian now competing in the colours of Bahrain, Edidiong Ofinome Odiong.

Chukwuma, 20, will run from lane three and is the second fastest in the line up (22.33).

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