Favour Ashe made an incredible indoor debut for University of Tennessee in the 60m event at the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson, South Carolina scorching to a big personal best of 6.58 seconds to win the third heat of the event to qualify for the semis.
The 19 year old Nigerian recorded the fastest time in the first round heat but failed to start in the semis after he was tipped to win his semifinal heat before going on to Saturday’s final where he would have been the favourite to win his first 60m race.
Ashe’s time is the fastest by a Nigerian so far this year, supplanting the 6.67 seconds ran by World U-20 200m champion, Udodi Chudi Onwuzurike at the Dempsey Indoor, Seattle, Washington a forthnight ago.
The time has also moved him to number 12 in the Nigerian all-time list behind Barcelona Olympics 4x100m relay medallist Olapade Adeniken (6.57s).
Deji Aliu, incidentally Ashe’s coach while in Nigeria holds the Nigerian record in the event at 6.48s with Olusoji Fasuba, the 2008 World Indoor champion over the distance the only other Nigerian to break 6.50s in the event.
His time catapults him to fourth all-time in Tennessee history behind UT greats Christian Coleman (6.45), Leonard Scott (6.48) and Justin Gatlin (6.54).
Ashe was just off Scott’s freshman record of 6.56 set in 1999.
Additionally, Ashe’s time is currently tied for ninth-fastest in the world, leads the SEC and is sixth-quickest in the nation.
Ashe served notice of a star in the making when he ran a wind-aided 10.07 seconds in the 100m to place third at the 3rd MOC Grand Prix held at the Yabatech Sports Complex in Yaba, Lagos last March.
He began with a 10.17 seconds run to win heat three of the event.
The then 18 year old subsequently got injured and did not recover early to fight for a place in Nigeria’s team to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.