Team Nigeria’s Imaobong Nse Uko live up to the billing with scintillating performance of 51:70 secs to win Women’s 400m gold at the ongoing U-20 World Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday.
The Nigerian teen star came from behind to beat Poland’s Kornelia Lesiewicz with 51:97secs and Kenya’s Sylvia Chelangat with 52:23secs to second and third position respectively.
Uko’s time is her personal best and lived up to pre-event hype, becoming the fourth Nigerian to win the event’s gold after Fatimah Yusuf in 1990 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Olabisi Afolabi in Lisbon, Portugal in 1994 and Folashade Abugan in 2008 in Poland.
Speaking shortly after winning her victory, Uko said the feat is just the beginning of greater heights in her career
“It was very tough because of the weather.This is just the beginning of great things in my career.
“My coach and I really worked hard on this, I’m so excited, it would only get better. Coming here to make so much impact makes me feel so happy, it means more hard work, but the future is so bright,” Nse Uko said.
She was part of the mixed relay team that earlier won gold.
Also Team Nigerian collegiate Athlete, Udodi Chudi Onwuzurike, wins the 200m race gold with a personal best time of 20.21.
Onwuzurike thus erases compatriot Francis Obiekwelu long standing record of being the last Nigerian to have won the event since 1996.
He outpaced Letsile Tebogo of Botswana who came second in a time of 20.38, while South Africa’s Sinesipho Dambile won bronze in a time of 20.48.
In the women’s event, Favour Ofili finished 3rd with a time of 22.23 to secure bronze on an impressive day for Team Nigeria. The event was won by Namibia’s Christine Mboma in a time of 21.84, while silver went to Beatrice Masilingi of Namibia.