World Championships: 17-year-old Nigerian qualifies for semifinal, Okagbare disqualified


The Nigerian duo of Favour Ofili and Patience Okon have both qualified for the semifinal of the 400m women’s event at the ongoing World Championships in Doha.

While 17-year-old Ofili secured automatic qualification having finished third in Heat 4 with a new personal best time of 51.51 secs, her compatriot Okon pulled through as one of the fastest losers.

Okon finished in sixth place in Heat 3 with a time of 51.77secs.

It was Botswana’s Galefele Moroko that won the Heat 4 with a PB of 50.59s while Stefanie McPherson finished 2nd in 51.21s.

For Heat 3, Shakiba Wimbley won with a time of 51.17s as Iga Baumgart-Witan finished in 2nd place in 51.34s and Laviai Nielsen 3rd in 51.52s.

Among those in the semi-final, Ofili has the 13th fastest time while Okon is ranked 19th overall.

While it was good for Nigeria in the women’s 400m event a the World Championships, it was the complete opposite in the 200m event where track queen Blessing Okagbare was disqualified on Monday.

Read also: Mixed fortunes for Nigeria at World Athletics Championships

After exerting so much energy to get reinstated after initially being disqualified by the IAAF for not participating in 100m, many were happy to see Okagbare on the start list of Heat 7 of the Women’s 200m event on Monday.

Placed in the dreaded Lane 9, Okagbare was adjudged to have stepped outside of her lane and her disappointing fourth-place finish was not reckoned with at all.

It got worse, as Okagbare looked like she has copped an injury, and is now a major doubt for Nigeria’s 4x100m relay.

Okagbare, 30, is the last Nigerian athlete to win a medal at the World Championships in over a decade having won a silver and bronze medal at the 2013 Moscow edition.

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