The Discus throw trio of reigning Commonwealth Games champion, Chioma Onyekwere, National Sports Festival winner, Ashley Anumba, and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist, Pamela Obiageri Amaechi will be making World Athletics Championships history on Sunday when they step into the discus throw circle.
Nigeria has neither presented three athletes at the same time nor made it to the final in the event in the history of the championships. While Onyekwere who made history as the first Nigerian woman to win a Commonwealth Games Discus throw title will only need to throw 96cm less than the 64.96m African record she set in April, Anumba and Amaechi must set a new lifetime best to be guaranteed of qualifying for the final.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Rosemary Chukwuma has been drawn to run against reigning world leader, Shericka Jackson in heat four of the women’s 100m event which starts at 11.10 (Nigeria time).
Chukwuma is the lone Nigerian in the event and will battle Jackson, the Jamaican who ran a 10.65 world lead at the Jamaican
Championships last month, Germany’s Gina Luckenkemper and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye for the three automatic
qualification slots in the heat.
The Nigerian (11.01) is the third fastest in the lineup this year behind Jackson and Luckenkemper (11.00) and, on paper, should have little or no problem in qualifying for the semifinal.
In the men’s 400m, Dubem Nwachukwu will become the first Nigerian to run in the open 400m in six years after Samson Nathaniel who didn’t advance beyond the first round in London in 2017.
Nwachukwu will be seeking to become the first Nigerian to run in the semifinal of the event in 19 years after Godday James ran 46.62 and failed to advance to the final in Helsinki, Finland in 2005.
Also in action on Sunday is Nigeria’s 400m hurdles record holder, Nathaniel Ezekiel who will be keen to qualify for the semifinal for the second straight championships.
By Dare Esan
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