Nigerian 400m hurdles record holder, Ajoke Muizat Odumosu will begin her chase for a first ever appearance in the finals of the quartermile barrier run early this morning at the Luizniki stadium in Moscow.
Odumosu,who ran a new 54.40 seconds Nigerian record at the semifinal stage of the London 2012 Olympics on her way to becoming the first Nigerian woman 400m hurdles runner to make it to the finals of the event at the Olympics will also be aiming to score another first here.
The University of South Alabama,USA graduate is participating in her fourth IAAF World championships and she has never gone beyond the semifinals.She has been drawn in the first lane of a very tough second heat where she will compete for one of the three automatic slots with athletes who have been in better form so far this season than she has been.
Among the Nigerian’s very tough adversaries is Czech Republic’s London Olympic bronze medallist,Zuzana Hejnová who holds a 53.07 seconds world lead in the event; Christine Spence of the USA who has ran inside 55 seconds (54.56) this season; Anna Titimets of Ukraine who holds a personal and season’s best of 54.64;Jamaica’s Nickiesha Wilson who has also broken 55 seconds (54.94) this season and Russian lady,Anastasia Ott who has 55.49 personal season’s best.
Also expected to fight for a place in the semifinals is USA-based Ugonna Ndu who will be running from lane eight in the final heat of the day. She holds a 56.12 seconds personal and season’s best and will be competing against athletes like Dalilah Muhammad of the USA who has broken 54 seconds (53.83) this year as well as four others viz Danielle Dowie of Jamaica (54.94),Irina Davydova of Russia (54.79),Anna Yaroshchuk of Ukraine (54.77) and Eilidh Child of Great Britain (54.22) who have all broken 55 seconds this year.
The two Nigerians will need a miracle to get beyond this stage.