16 APRIL 2022
Premium Times (Abuja)
By Tunde Eludini
Ofili finished with an impressive 21.96 seconds to break Okagbare’s 22.04 seconds record that was set in 2018.
One of Nigeria’s most talented and widely tipped to step into the shoes of Blessing Okagbare as the country’s next queen of the tracks, Favour Ofili is already living up to the challenge.
Ofili, on Friday, broke Okagbare’s 200m National record with a stunning performance at the just-concluded Tom Jones Invitational in Gainesville, Florida.
She finished with an impressive 21.96 seconds to break Okagbare’s 22.04 seconds record that was set in 2018.
Okagbare is presently serving out a 10-year ban for doping-related issues with almost no chance of a return to the tracks and at just 19 years, Ofili has shown great promise and many see her as the next world-beater from Nigeria.
She represented Nigeria at the 2019 IAAF World Championships when she was only 16, and that made her the youngest athlete to compete at the World Championships that year.
She was also at the African Games in Morocco the same year where she won a silver medal in the 400 metres.
Though she made it to Tokyo Olympics, she was denied a chance to participate as she was one of the 10 athletes that were barred for not meeting the out-of-competition testing required.
Ofili, a Louisiana State University undergraduate also broke Dawn Sowell’s school record of 22.04 seconds.
She is just the second African woman to go under 22 seconds in the half-lap event and her winning time is also a world leader for 2022 (the fastest in the event so far this year).
The only African woman to run faster than Ofili is the 2020 Olympic silver medalist Christine Mboma of Namibia, who has a personal-best time of 21.78s.