Two Nigerian athletes- Ruth Usoro and Favour Ofili- are the latest to qualify for Tokyo Olympic Games after meeting the standard set by the World Athletics (WA).
Usoro set Championship record and tied the No. 2 indoor mark in the world with her leap of 6.82 meters (22’ 4.50) to win the long jump at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States.
With this feat, Usoro continued her horizontal jumps breakthrough, sailing out to a long jump PB of 6.82m, moving the Texas Tech student to equal fifth on the African indoor all-time list.
On Saturday, Usoro then won the triple jump with a PB of 14.38m, moving her to fourth on the African indoor all-time list.
She has surpassed the 14.32m Olympics standard for the triple jump.
Usoro has not only become the first Nigerian woman to meet the qualification standard for the Olympics in the event but also the first Nigerian woman to meet the standard for both the triple and long jumps after her 6.82m feat saw her hit the mark for Tokyo.
But beyond all the marks ticked by this long jump distance, Usoro will be extremely glad she has hit the much-desired Olympic mark and can now be hoping to challenge for honours just as the duo of Chioma Ajunwa did at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and Blessing Okagbare followed suit at the Beijing Olympics.
Similarly, Favour Ofili ran a personal best in the 200 meters with 22.75 seconds and her time was the third-fastest in school history.
Earlier Ofili had the fourth-fastest time in the 200 prelims, earning a spot in the final with a PR of 23.15.
With the feat Ofili set a new Nigeria and African 200m indoor record of 22.75secs to break the 22.80 Secs record set by Cote d’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure in 2009 and made history as the first Nigerian sprinter to break 23 seconds in the half lap indoors.
Ofili has, however, surpassed the 22.80secs qualification standard set for 200m of Tokyo Olympics.