Ofili Shatters Three African Records In One Year

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OFILI

Ofili Shatters Three African Records In One Year

Still in the first year of her professional career, Nigerian sprinter, Favour Ofili, is fast becoming the next big thing out of the country with impressive performances which has seen her shatter two African records in three months and now holds three continental records.

The 21-year-old has set continental records over 150m – 16.30s, 200m indoors – 22.11s and 300m indoors – 35.99s.

Her latest was the 150m straight, which she set at the Adidas Atlanta City Games on Saturday, where she ran 16.30s to better Marie Josée Ta Lou of Ivory Coast’s 16.60s time. In the process, she narrowly missed out on the late Tori Bowie’s world record by 0.006s as her training partner, Candace Hill, who jointly got the same 16.30s and won the race.

The Louisiana State University track star confirmed her professional status by signing with Adidas last year but she wasn’t able to hit the ground running as expected. Her major outing then was the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, where her injury struggles didn’t allow her to go beyond the semi-finals.

In February, she returned to the track in her usual blistering form and broke the African record in the women’s 300m at the 2024 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston. Ofili ran a time of 35.99s, which is also a new national record.

“I feel great, transitioning back from Injury isn’t easy but I’m just happy to be here and taking it one bit at a time and having fun with the whole process,” she told Anderson Emereole via Making of Champions in February.

Her 200m indoors record of 22.11s was set on March 10, 2023, during the NCAA Division I Championships in Albuquerque, United States.

According to her, her transition from collegiate to professional athletics has been fueled by the company she keeps from the NCAA.

“The transition has been good because of my amazing coaches and teammates. They push me every day like ‘Hey Favour this is not college anymore, we making money right now.’ So, I think it’s not that hard because I’m with people who want me to keep getting better,” she said.

At the moment, she has already booked her place in the women’s 200m event of the Olympic Games and was also part of the women’s 4x100m quartet that picked Nigeria’s ticket at the World Relays in the Bahamas earlier this month.

The sprinter was still seeking a 100m ticket to the Games, with the hope of excelling in the individual races.

As she continues to progress in 2024, Ofili has some big responsibilities to pull off her shoulders for Nigeria at the Olympic Games from July 26 to August 11.

She stressed the importance of staying fit when asked about how she was looking forward to the Games and the rest of the year at the Atlanta City Games on Saturday.

“I just want to stay healthy and that is what people should expect. I know what I can do and what God can use me to do when I am healthy. All the experiences of last year are in the past. This is a new year, I just want to be competitive,” she said.