All eyes will be on sprint hurdler Tobiloba Amusan to give the crowd at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex something spectacular to behold and cheer on Day Two of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Tokyo Olympics Trials.
Blessing Okagbare and Enoch Adegoke made Day One of the event more than memorable with their incredible performances in the blue ribband race.
While Okagbare stormed to two sub 11 seconds performances under 90 minutes enroute to her eighth 100m title win and new championship record, Adegoke was also in his elements as he smashed the Tokyo Olympics 10.05 entry standard with a commanding 10.00 seconds run.
Adegoke’s time is the second best legal time achieved in the history of the championship after Deji Aliu’s 9.98 seconds performance achieved in 2003 in Abuja.
It is now the turn of Amusan to lift the crowd with another spectacular performance with all eyes eager to witness either a new championship record to erase Angela Atede’s 12.63 seconds performance achieved in 1997 or add the 12.44 African record set by Glory Alozie to her accomplishments just under 50 days to the delayed Tokyo Olympics.
Amusan is closing in on the record and her latest bid, a 12.43 seconds run early this month in Florida would have been a new African record but for an excessive tailwind.
The petite sprint hurdler has broken one out of the three African records held by Alozie. She smashed the 12.74 seconds African Games record two years ago in Rabat with a 12.68 seconds run and will be gunning for the second record after failing to break the Abia state born World and Olympic silver medalist’s 7.82 60m hurdles indoor record. Meanwhile the finals of the men and women’s 400m and the men and women’s 200m will hold Friday evening.
None of the Nigerian athletes in the 400m has qualified for the event and beating or equalling the respective 44.90 and 51.35 seconds standard for the men and women look an herculean task.
For the men Chidi Okezie who set a new 45.60 seconds personal best to win the 400m title at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival in April will be hoping to not only win his first national 400m title but also go under 45 seconds for the first time in his career to meet the qualification standard and book his flight to Tokyo.
For the women, World U-18 fastest girl, Nse Uko Imaobong will have her hands full as she, like Okezie tries to consolidate on her impressive 51.70 seconds performance which fetched her the quartermile gold at the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival.
More importantly, she will be aiming to become the eighth Nigerian to run a sub-51 seconds over the distance to book her flight to her first Olympic Games.