Nigeria’s Favour Ofili named US athlete of the week

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Nigeria’s Favour Ofili has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week after breaking the 200-metre collegiate record at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic 2022 last weekend.

The 2019 African Games medalist and year two undergraduate of Louisiana State University (LSU) was announced the award’s winner yesterday after running a record-setting time of 21.96 seconds which remains the fastest in the world this year.

Apart from being the best in the world, Ofili also erased four-year-old Blessing Okagbare’s 200 metres National Record of 22.04 seconds as the second-fastest ever in African history behind Namibia’s Christine Mboma, who owns a personal best of 21.78secs.

Also in the LSU record book, Ofili surpassed former record-holder Dawn Sowell, who had a career-best of 22.04secs while competing for LSU back in 1989. The previous collegiate record belonged to Florida’s Kyra Jefferson who ran a 22.02 back in 2017 at the NCAA Championships.

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The feat also earned Ofili the qualification standard for the 2022 IAAF World Championships that will take place later this year in Eugene, Oregon.

Ofili will surely be among the favourites in the event in Oregon while representing Nigeria.

The Rivers State-born athlete also has the qualification standard in the 100 meters with her time of 11.00 that she ran earlier this outdoor season as well.

With Ofili’s USTFCCCA award, this is the second time that an LSU athlete has earned a National Athlete of the Week honour this outdoor season as Alia Armstrong was awarded it on March 29 following the Texas Relays.

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Also, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has named Ofili among the top 10 women’s track and field performances from the season’s first half, while Ofili’s school LSU women’s team was ranked fourth in the latest rankings from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. LSU collected a total of six NCAA top 10 marks over the past weekend including NCAA leads by Ofili (200 meters) and Katy-Ann McDonald (800 meters).