…Ofili Breaks 23 Seconds Again To Finish Sixth In 200m
Nigeria’s Ruth Usoro made history over the weekend as the first Nigerian woman to win a triple jump title at the National Collegiate of Athletics Association (NCAA) Indoor Championships held at the Tyson Randal Track Centre in Fayeteville, Arkansas.
Like she did last month when she hopped, stepped and jumped the second-farthest triple jump in NCAA history with her last effort to clinch the Big 12 title, she did the same thing Saturday night, waiting till the last moment to win her first national championship.
The Nigerian who was the pre-event favourite found herself in a battle with Texas A&M’s Deborah Acquah and Florida State’s Ruta Lamane and recorded three fouls in the first four rounds but found her rhythm in the fifth round, leaping 14.21m. She matched Acquah’s leading mark in the final round, 14.27m, but moved into first place by virtue of her second-best mark. Acquah’s final effort of 13.76m wasn’t enough to regain the lead.
Usoro’s bid to complete a triple jump/long jump double was not successful as she could only place fifth in the long jump with her 6.62m effort.
The 23 year old had made history last month as the first Nigerian woman to meet the qualification standard for the triple jump for the Olympics and also the first and only one to make the standard in both the triple jump and long jump events.
In the women’s 200m, Favour Ofili ran inside 23 seconds (22.96) for the second time in less than a month and in only her first season indoors to place sixth.
For the men, Isaac Odugbesan failed to replicate the feat he performed last month at a Conference where he set a new 20.50m personal best in the Shot Put as his 19.17m effort was not enough to earn him a podium place, finishing 11th with pre-event favourite, Turner Washington of Arizona state university winning with a massive 21.36m throw.