Regina George finished tops in her Heats and qualified for the semi-finals of the event in grand style.
On Friday morning in Sopoot, Poland, Nigeria got her campaign at 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships off to a bright start as the country’s 400meters female runner, Regina George, won her Heat and qualified for the semi-final of the event in grand style.
Regina, who is seen as the country’s brightest medal prospect owing to the absence of Blessing Okagbare from the biennial games, posted a season’s best time of 51.60 seconds, way ahead of second placed Polish athlete, Justyna Swiety, who finished with a time of 52.13 in the same race.
Regina’s winning time is incidentally the fastest time in Heats already concluded. Some feel it is a pointer that she would at least make it to the final if she keeps the pace.
Though USA’s Francena McCorory and Russia’s Kseniya Ryzhova are the joint favourites for the 400m women’s event, Nigeria’s Regina, a winner in Birmingham last month, could also get medals.
The hurdles specialist, Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, and 19-year-old Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas are also contenders for the 400m women event.
Nigeria did not register any athlete for the 400m men event as the quatermilers to the championships will only be taking part in the Relays.
As at the time of filing this report, another Nigerian, Stephen Mozia, was contesting in the Men’s Shot Put event.
Tunde Eludini is a graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria where he studied International Relations. He is a Senior Correspondent coordinating the sports section for PREMIUM TIMES. Twitter: @tundeyeludini