Nse Uko is World Junior 400m champion


.Nathaniel through to 400m hurdles final

Imaobong Nse Uko has delivered Team Nigeria her second gold medal of the ongoing World Athletics Under 20 Championship after she won the 400m women’s final yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya with a time of 51.55 seconds.

It was the day four of the World Junior Championship and Nse Uko who came to the Championships as the fastest among the contenders following the 51.70 seconds she ran to win the gold at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival in April lived up to pre-race hype by becoming the third Nigerian woman to win the event’s gold after Fatimah Yusuf in 1990 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Olabisi Afolabi in Lisbon, Portugal in 1994.

The 17 year old ran a new 51.55 seconds personal best to achieve the feat. The time further extended her record as the fastest U18 athlete in the world in 2021 and the 17th fastest in the Nigerian all-time list.

She defeated Kornelia Lesiewicz of Poland and Sylvia Chalangat of Kenya to the silver and bronze medal with a time of 51.97 and 52.23 seconds.

It is the second gold the Nigerian would be winning in Kenya as she was part of the 4x400m Mixed Relay team that won a gold medal a few days ago.

Meanwhile, Ezekiel Nathaniel has qualified for the final of today’s 400m hurdles Men’s after he qualified as one of the fastest losers with a time of 51.39 seconds which was a personal best. He came third in the semifinal where only the first two qualified automatically while the two best third-placed finishers were picked too.

By Tunde Liadi


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