ODUMOSU, OKE SEEK OLYMPIC GLORY
Posted: Aug 08, 2012
To Compete In Tonight’s 400m
Hurdles,Triple Jump Final Respectively
Quartermile barrier runner, Ajoke Muizat Odumosu and triple jumper, Tosin Oke can hurdle and jump their names into Nigeria's history books tonight if they make the podium in their respective events. Odumosu will be running in the women's 400m hurdles final while Oke will be competing in the men's triple jump final after both booked their tickets last night at the Olympic stadium in London,venue of the athletics events of the on-going 30th Olympic Games.
For Odumosu who set a new 54.40 seconds national record on the road to tonight's final,it will be an extension of the record she set by becoming the first Nigerian woman to make it to the final of the event at the Olympics.Nigeria's best result prior to Odumosu's impressive feat of last night was Maria Usifo's eighth place finish (58.55) in the second semi-final of the 23rd Olympic Games in Los Angeles,USA in 1984.
Odumosu will however have to run faster than the new national record time she set yesterday if she wants to make the podium tonight.The Nigerian has been drawn in lane 6 flanked in lane 7 by reigning world champion,Lashinda Demus of the USA who has a personal season's best of 53.98 seconds and Russia's Antyukh Natalya,bronze medallist at the IAAF Worlds in Daegu last year who ran her personal season's best of 53.33 to win her semi-final heat at the on-going Olympics.
Also in contention for places in the podium are the Czech republic duo of Zuzana Hejnová (53.62 personal season's best) and Denisa Rosolová (54.24 seconds) as well as Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer (54.02).
In the triple jump,Oke won't be the first Nigerian to make the finals of the event.He qualified for tonight's final with his 16.83m leap which ranked him the fifth best of the 12 qualifiers and his motivation will be to jump better than Ajayi Agbebaku's seventh place finish (16.67m) in 1984 in Los Angeles.Interestingly,Agbebaku who won Nigeria's only field event medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics (1983 in Helsinki,Finland) leapt a distance of 16.93m to head his qualifying group for the final and was tipped to be among the medals.
Nigeria's presence in this event was first felt in 1956 when a certain Paul Bamela Engo (15.03m) placed 17th overall.
Also tonight,sprint hurdler,Selim Nurudeen will attempt to make it to the final of the 110m hurdles after qualifying for the semi-final by running a new 13.51 seconds personal best.He has been drawn in lane 5 of the second semi-final where he will battle for the two automatic slots for tonight's final alongside Aries Merritt of the USA who is the only man in the nine-man line-up in the heat who has broken 13 seconds this season (12.93 seconds).
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