CWG Athletics Day 4 RECAP: Okagbare & Duncan through to 200m Semis; Brume, Morton & Ogoegbunam make Finals

31 Jul

African sprint sensation, Blessing Okagbare comfortably led her heat in the women’s 200m to qualify for Thursday’s semi-finals, along with compatriot, Dominique Duncan whose race drew the curtain on Nigeria’s participation on Day 4 of track and field events at the Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland.

Okagbare looked supremely comfortable on Wednesday night, easing down some distance before the finish line to a time of 22.99s in Heat 1, leaving her competitors trailing in her wake. Duncan, representing Nigeria in an individual event for the first time, posted 23.89s in Heat 6 to place third behind Canada’s Kelly Hyacinthe (23.29) and Jade Bailey of Barbados (23.75).

Expectations are rife that Blessing is all but set to add the 200m title to the 100m won on Monday, when the final comes up on Thursday evening. She will first have qualify from in Heat 1 of the Semis at 6pm, while Duncan competes in Heat 2. Duncan has the fastest PB of 22.82 in her heat but will have to significantly improve on her first round time to be assured of a place in the final, as she faces Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert (PB 22.88) who post the 3rd fastest time of 23.14s in the heats.

Nigeria’s men did not fare as well in the 200m as the duo of Seye Ogunlewe and former 100m national champion, Obinna Metu crashed out in the heats earlier on Wednesday. 22-year old Ogunlewe finished in 4th in Heat 2, which was won by Lesotho’s Mosito Lehata in 20.68s, while the more experienced Metu also finished 4th in Heat 10 in 21.19s. Nigeria’s 200m Champion Divine Oduduru wasn’t entered in the event, following his remarkable wind-aided 20.25s run to win Silver at the World Juniors in Oregon last week.

In the women’s long jump, Ese Brume’s leap of 6.29m in the qualifying round ensured her safe passage in 12th place to Thursday’s final, where she will have to contend with England’s Shara Proctor and Canada’s Christabel Netty, 2nd and 4th respectively in the Commonwealth this year – Brume’s Season’s Best of 6.68m at the National Trials puts her as No.3. Brume’s performance in Glasgow so far is a huge improvement from the World Juniors last week, where she was able to record only one jump of 5.18m.

Nigeria’s No.1 in the men’s 400m hurdles Chris Morton qualified as one of the fastest losers in his heat to make Thursday’s final. He returned 49.62s in 3rd and has an outside chance of claiming a Bronze medal, with World Champion Jehue Gordon and South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks (No. 1 in C’wealth Rankings this year with 48.42s) the favourites for GOLD and Silver in the final! In the women’s category, national champion, Amaka Ogoegbunam will run in a strong field which includes World Leader Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica who has posted 53.41s this year, in comparison to the Nigeria’s No.1’s time of 56.77s.


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