Sunday, July 14, 2024

Nigerian Sprinters, Ofili, Onwuzurike Win At New York Grand Prix

Both Ofili and Onwuzurike are expected to compete at the All-Nigeria national trials next weekend in Benin City, Edo State

Nigerian athletes impressed at the USTAF New York Grand Prix on Sunday, with Favour Ofili and Udodi Onwuzurike clinching victories in the women’s 100m and men’s 100m events, respectively.

Onwuzurike, a former World U20 200m champion, took the men’s 100m title in 10.24 seconds, edging out American duo Kendal Williams (10.25 seconds) and Pjai Austin (10.26 seconds).

This marks a strong showing for Onwuzurike as he heads into the Nigerian Olympic trials next weekend in Benin City, Edo State.

However, the men’s race also saw a surprising turn of events.

The 2022 world champion, Fred Kerley, opted not to compete after experiencing issues with his starting blocks.

Kerley explained that officials were unable to provide him with replacements after one of the pads malfunctioned.

He prioritised avoiding injury with the US Olympic trials approaching later in June.

In the women’s 100m, Ofili crossed the finish line first in 11.18 seconds, followed by veteran sprinter Morolake Akinosun (11.20 seconds) and American Aleia Hobbs (11.21 seconds).
While Ofili secured the win, her sights are still set on achieving the Olympic qualifying standard of 11.07 seconds before the window closes.

Despite needing a faster time in the 100m, Ofili has already secured her spot in the 200m.
She holds the African record in the 150m and ran a qualifying time of 22.33 seconds in the 200m back in April. Both Ofili and Onwuzurike are expected to compete at the All-Nigeria national trials next weekend in Benin City, Edo State.

Other events

While not quite perfect, Tobi Amusan displayed her resilience in the women’s 100m hurdles, recovering from a shaky start to finish third in 12.66 seconds (-1.9 wind). Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas took the win in 12.56 seconds, with American Alaysha Johnson placing second in 12.58 seconds.

Noah Lyles, the reigning world champion in both the 100m and 200m, dominated the men’s 200m despite windy conditions at Icahn Stadium, clocking a time of 19.77 seconds. Joseph Fahnbulleh and Lyles’ brother Josephus finished second and third, respectively, in 20.15 seconds and 20.51 seconds.

The meet also saw Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone cruise to a world-leading time of 48.75 seconds in the women’s 400m.

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