NCAA Division I 2024 Indoor Championship: Adeshina and Chukwuma are main Nigerian contenders for gold!

High jumper, Temitope Adeshina and sprinter, Rosemary Chukwuma have the best chance among ‘Nigerian’ participants of mounting the podium as championships at
this weekend’s NCAA Division I 2024 Indoor Championship at the Track at New Balance in Boston, Massachussets.

Since Ruth Usoro became the latest Nigerian to triumph at the championship in 2021 when she hopped, stepped and jumped 14.27m to win the women’s triple jump
title, the nearest any Nigerian has come have been Favour Ofili’s two silver medal finishes in the 200m event in 2022 and 2023.

This may change this year as both Adeshina and Chukwuma have put themselves as one of the favourites for their respective event.

Adeshina soared highest in the high jump event to break the Nigeria record in the event at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock, Texas in January. Her
1.96m height is one centimetre better than Doreen Amata’s best she first cleared in 2008 in Abuja.

The 25 year old may not be clear favourite for the title, a possible first by a Nigerian in championship history, as Jamaica’s Lamara Distin of Texas A&M
University has soared four centimetres higher to hit the magical 2.00m mark and set a new national record but it is who is ready on the day that will soar

For Chukwuma, she cannot get a better chance as women’s 60 meters is wide open and anyone could win.

The Nigerian 7.12 seconds personal season’s best is the fourth fastest among the 16 athletes competing for the title behind Brianna Lyston of LSU (7.07),
Jacious Sears of Tennessee (7.10) and University of Oregon’s Jadyn Mays (7.11).

Chukwuma ran a lifetime best of 7.09 seconds in the event last year and a repeat performance may be enough for gold this time.

In with an outside chance of making it to the podium is quartermiler, Nathaniel Ezekiel who will be competing in the men’s 400m event.

With his 45.54 lifetime best which has ranked him as the second fastest in the Nigerian and African all-time list, Nathaniel is only ranked the ninth fastest
man in the event coming to the championship.

The 20 year old will need to make histoiry as the first African to run inside 45 seconds to stand a real chance and the man to beat is Christopher Morales
Williams of University of Georgia who has ran a lifetime best and Canadian indoor record of 44.49 at the Randal Tyson Indoor Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas
last month.

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