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June 15, 2024
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Ofili Blazes to New African Record in 150m, Brume Qualifies for Olympics

United States-based Nigerian sprinter, Favour Ofili, is now Africa’s fastest woman in 150 metres following a blistering 16.30 seconds return at the Adidas Atlanta City Games in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

The 21-year-old has thus supplanted Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee ta Lou-Smith’s 16.60 seconds as Africa’s numero uno in the rarely run event. Ofili recorded the same time as Candace Hill, and the two-time World Youth and World U-20 champion seems to be coming back to form to fulfil her dream of winning a medal in the fast-approaching Paris 2024 Olympics.

Though Ofili didn’t have the best of starts, she managed to race past Britain’s Daryll Neita to chase Hill to the finish line. The Louisiana State University (LSU) graduate now holds three records; the Nigerian records in the 200m, indoors (22.11secs), the outdoor (21.96secs) and African 150m mark.

In February, Ofili ran 35.99 seconds over the 300m at the New Balance even, Boston, U.S. to set the second fastest time ever by an African behind Beatrice Masilingi’s time of 34.60 seconds.

Also at the weekend, Africa’s number one and female long jump Queen, Ese Brume, punched her ticket to the Paris Olympics with a Season’s Best (SB) of 6.87m at the Adidas Atlanta City Games.

She finished third at the event but was able to hit the automatic Olympic qualification standard. Brume began with 6.68m in the first round and 6.58m in her second-round jump before leaping to a personal season’s best mark of 6.87m, one centimetre above the 6.86m qualifying mark set by World Athletics.

Ese Brume won bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and is aiming to become the first Nigerian and African athlete to win two medals in the long jump event at the Olympics.

Another Nigerian, reigning African Games Shot Put champion, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, also at the weekend, reconfirmed his Olympic qualification in Los Angeles with a 21.78m personal season’s best. He placed third at the USATF LA Grand Prix held at the University of California’s Drake Stadium.

The mark was the Nigerian’s second best ever, and just two centimetres short of his 21.80m lifetime best, which he set in Luxembourg in August 2019.

Reacting to the performances of Nigerian athletes at the weekend, U.S-based board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Victor Okorie said: “It is good for our build-up to the African Championships in Cameroun and the Paris Olympics.”

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