—Okagbare Jumps 6.21m
By Dare Esan:
Nigeria junior international Tobilola Amusan’s 12.83 seconds lifetime best run Saturday at the Kidd Field at the University of Texas in El Paso will not be recognised as a world junior (U-20) record despite bettering by one hundredth of a second the 12.84 seconds run by Cuba’s Aliuska Lopez in 1987 because there was no post-race drugs test.
But the mark is an improvement on her own African junior record and will stand as the second-fastest time ever by a junior. She has also moved up to number three in the Nigerian all-time ranking behind Gloria Alozie (12.44) and Angela Atiede (12.72).
Amusan, the reigning African junior and All African Games champion, also set another personal best in the 200m with a 23.24 run.
“It was a really nice race and my plan was just to get out of the blocks,” Amusan told reporters. “When I first looked at the scoreboard and it said 13.3 (seconds) I was very mad, but then when the official results popped up and said 12.83 I said YES!!!
“It is really a privilege and to run sub 13 and it is great to see my goal come true that I have been training for over the past year.”
Amusan didn’t end her phenomenal day in the 100m hurdles, she turned around a little more than two hours later and clocked the fastest 200m dash time in Conference USA. She crossed the finish line in 23.24 for gold.
“I know I have good speed and know that I am capable of running a sub-23 second 200m dash, but a 23.2 is not a bad start,” noted Amusan who ran her first 200m dash in over two and a half years.
Amusan is now the fifth Nigerian to break the 13m barrier in the 100m hurdles after Gloria Alozie (12.44), Angela Atiede (12.72), Toyin Augustus (12.85) imported American Lindsey Lindley (12.97).
At the 107th Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, USA Blessing Okagbare opened her long jump campaign for the season with a disappointing 6.21m leap.
The event was won by Lorraine UGEN of Britain who jumped a wind-aided 6.82m while former world champion Britney Resse of the USA came second with a legal 7.74m leap.
In California,Toyin Augustus continued her impressive performance in her comeback bid by running 13.65 seconds in the 100m hurdles.