Tokyo Olympics 100m semifinalist Grace Nzubechi Nwokocha will be seeking to become the fifth Nigerian woman to run in the final of the blue ribband event when she files out for the semifinal early Monday morning.
The Nigeria 100m champion has been drawn in the first of three semifinal heats after running 11.16 seconds in the first round to qualify for Monday’s semifinal.
The 21 year old will battle for the two automatic tickets with Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith who ran 10.84 seconds in the first round and Jamaica’s rising star, Kemba Nelson who is just a year older than Nwokocha and ran 10.88 seconds at the Jamaican championships last month.
The Nigerian will also battle the duo of Twanisha Terry of the USA who has done 10.87 seconds this year and Julian Alfred of Saint Lucia who holds a personal best of 10.81 seconds at the Big 12 conference meet in May and impressed in the first round with an 11.05 run.
Nwokocha knows she needs to either run faster than her 10.97 seconds personal best she ran last month at the NCAA division 1 championships to secure one of the two automatic slots for the final or run fast enough to grab one of the two non-automatic spots.
If she does, she will become the fifth Nigerian woman after Mary Onyali, Mercy Nku, Damola Osayomi and Blessing Okagbare to run in the final of the 100m event at World Athletics’ flagship event, the World Athletics Championships.