—Amusan Also Gets Tough 100m Hurdles Semi-Final
By Oladimeji Loko in Rio:
Former Nigeria 100m and 200m junior champion Divine Oduduru will have to break 20 seconds for the first time and race into history books as the second Nigerian man after Francis Obikwelu if he is desirous of making it beyond the 200m semi-finals at the on-going Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Nigerian who ran an inspiring new 20.34 seconds personal best to come second behind Jamaica’s Usain Bolt in the first round of one of the 200m heats on Tuesday to qualify for the semi-final has been drawn in a very tough heat which also has Bolt ,Canada’s Andre De Grasse who won bronze in the 100m event decided Monday morning, Ameer Webb of USA who is one of only two people who have broken 20 seconds this year in the semi-final heat and Great Britain’s Adam Gemili.
Oduduru will run from lane two, just beside Bolt who has been drawn in lane one.The Sapele, Delta State-born sprinter will be hoping to become the third
Nigerian sprinter after Olapade Adeniken (1992), Kayode Oluyemi (1992) to run in the final of the half lap event.
The Nigerian will vie for one of the two automatic slots on offer for the final or wait till the conclusion of the three semi-final heats to see if he will
qualify as one of the two fastest losers.
In the 100m hurdles, junior international Tobi Amusan will pray for a different kind of luck when she steps out for the second semi-final of her event at
12.51am tomorrow at the Olympic stadium in Brazil.
Amusan qualified for the semis as the last of the six fastest losers after placing fifth in 12.99 seconds in the first round.
The University of Texas in El Paso student who holds apersonal season’s best of 12.83 seconds will race for the two automatic slots for the final against
USA’s Nia Ali who has run 12.55 seconds this year, Nadine Hildebrand of Germany who brandishes a 12.64 seconds personal and season’s best, Canada’s Phylicia George (12.74 season’s best) and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico who has a 2016 and lifetime best of 12.69 seconds.