Ruth Usoro, Ezekiel Nathaniel set for World Athletics Championships debut

Olatoye ends Oregon 2022 journey on historic note

Reigning Nigeria Triple jump and 400m hurdles record holder, Ruth Usoro and Ezekiel Nathanie will make their respective World Athletics Championships debut on Day two of the global athletics festival on Saturday in Oregon, USA.Usoro, who will be competing in two events will start her campaign in the triple jump, an event in which she is Nigeria’s record holder with the 14.50m she jumped in April 2021.

The 24 year old has been drawn in the first qualifying group and will be hoping to hit either the 14.40m automatic qualifying mark or finish at least among the best 12 to qualify for final where she will make history as the first Nigerian woman to make the last 12 of the event at the championships.

Usoro holds a personal season’s best of 14.11m which she achieved last month in winning the Nigerian title and knows she only needs to jump closer to her 14.50m personal best to hit the final.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Nathaniel will be seeking to make the semifinal in his maiden appearance at the biggest track and field stage. The 20 year old only needs to be among the first four to cross the finish line to be able to achieve that dream debut.

The reigning Nigeria record holder has been drawn in the opening heat of the event. He is one of only three among the eight athletes in the heat to have broken 49 seconds in the event so far this year. He is also the fastest.

Nathaniel broke Henry Amike’s 35 year old Nigerian record last April in the USA and will be looking to become the second Nigerian to run in the final of the event.

Meanwhile Oyesade Olatoye’s journey to the World Champiuonships has been terminated after finishing 13th in the first hammer throw qualifying group.

The 25 year needed to throw either 73.05m which would have been a new personal best or be among the best 12 in the two qualifying groups to secure a place Saturday’s final.

The Nigerian threw 64.82m which ensured she has finished her journey in the championships.

Olatoye is however exiting the competition as the first Nigerian to participate in the hammer throw in the history of the championships.

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