Ofili, Ashe, Onwuzurike in race to win first major collegiate titles
African 200m indoor record holder and world leader at 22.11, Favour Ofili will be gunning for her first major Collegiate title early Sunday morning when she files out in section 2 final of the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships at the Albuqueque Convention Centre in Albuqueque, New Mexico.
The 20 year old ran a new lifetime best and both the meet and facility record (22.11) to win her semifinal heat and has been drawn in the same race over the half lap with University of Texas’ Saint Lucia sprinter, Julien Alfred who was the pre-championships fastest with the 22.26 she ran last month at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas.
This is the first time the two will be running in the 200m event and the Nigerian has been drawn in lane five with Alfred who ran 22.38 in the semifinal just outside in lane six.
Ofili has been predicted to win after she was denied the opportunity last year by University of Kentucky’s Abby Steiner who ran 22.16 to win.
She will be the first Nigerian woman in recent memory to win the NCAA 200m indoor title.
Also aiming to turn his bronze medal win of 2022 to gold this time around is Favour Ashe who has been drawn to run from lane four in the final.
The 21 year old will be flanked inside by pre-championships’ favourite, Terrence Jones of Texas Tech University in lane three and outside in lane four by PJ Austin who ran the second fastest time (6.53) in the semifinal behind the Nigerian.
In the 200m, former World U20 200m champion, Udodi Onwuzurike will be seeking to run faster than the 20.17 facility record he ran in the semifinal to win his first collegiate title.
Onwuzurike has been drawn in section 2 final with Alabama’s Tarsis Orogot who also set a new lifetime best of 20.17 with the Nigerian in the semis. Onwuzurike has been drawn to run in lane five with Orogot outside in lane six.