Louisiana State University (LSU) undergraduate student,Favour Ofili says she moved to the United States of America to get much better as a track and field athlete and represent Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Ofili, the youngest athlete (16) to compete at the 2019 World Athletics Championships who raced to the 400m semi-finals on her debut in the competition after running a new 51.51 seconds personal best raised hopes of a possible return to podium appearance by Nigeria’s track and field team at the Olympics in 12 years following her incredible runs in the 200m indoors this season in the American Collegiate circuit.
She raced to a new lifetime best in the half lap event, stopping the clock at 22.75 seconds last February to not only become Nigeria and Africa’s record holder in the event but also the first Nigerian woman to run inside 23 seconds over the distance.
Ofili, according to Dennis Shaver, head coach at Louisiana State University, is adapting well to her new environment.
“Ofili is adapting well to training. Weight training is likely the component she is willingly learning. She is eager and willing to work up to our standards,” said Shaver who in an email message to Complete Sports revealed Ofili will move up to her favourite event,the 400m this outdoor season.
Shaver is full of praise for the 19 year old who he says has a great personality with a competitive attitude.
Ofili is one of the quartermilers Nigeria is looking up to to make the women’s 4x400m very strong and competitive in Tokyo and Shaver reveals Ofili has told her of her mission to the school which includes leading Nigeria’s team to the Olympics in Tokyo.
“Ofili told me she came to the USA to get much better and represent Nigeria in the Olympic Games final,” said the LSU head coach who believes training with athletes who have had Olympic experience will help the Nigerian in achieving her goal.
“She (Ofili) is very young and this experience will certainly prepare her for her first Olympics as we have other athletes here who train that have several Olympic Games experience,” said Shaver.