Favour Ofili will Friday morning begin her quest for her first ever global individual gold medal when she files out in the fifth and final heat of the women’s 200m at the Kasarani satdium, venue of the ongoing World Athletics U20 Championships.
The 18 year old Nigerian is expected to cruise into the semifinal as one of the four automatic qualifiers from her first round heat for the semifinals slated for Friday afternoon.
Ofili holds a personal season’s best of 22.30 seconds which she ran in April but the reigning African 200m indoor record holder (22.75s) is not the favourite to win the U20 gold medal following Namibian Christine Mboma’s blistering 21.81 seconds run which fetched her a surprise 200m silver medal at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ofili will have two Namibians to contend with as Beatrice Masilinga, who also made it to the half lap final in Tokyo (finished sixth) is also in the 200m mix after winning silver in the 100m behind Jamaica’s Tina Clayton on Thursday.
Falilat Ogunkoya won Nigeria’s first and only gold medal of the event at the U20 level at the inuagural edition of the competition in Athens, Greece in 1986.
Mary Onyali was second in the race 35 years ago and no Nigerian has made it to the podium since then with the duo of Uduak Ekah and Funmilola Ogundana the only ones to make the final in 1998 in Annecy, France.
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