By CrossRiverWatch admin
Cross River born Edidiong Ofonime Odiong, yesterday topped her group in a time of 22.74 seconds and a new personal best, to win heat 9 in the women’s 200 metres for her adopted Country, Bahrain, at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro to qualify for the semi-finals tomorrow at 4.16am Bahrain time.
The 19-year old Odiong went into the final straight in second place, but powered her way past Trinidad and Tobago’s Semoy Hackett (22.78 seconds) who had to settle for second place and also qualified for the semi-finals, while third placed Veronica Campbell-Brown (22.97 seconds) of Jamaica missed out on qualification.
The other runners in the heat were from Kazakhstan, British Virgin Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Slovenia and Tajikistan.
In heat 3, another Nigerian who is also representing Bahrain, Oluwakemi Adekoya ran (50.72) to also qualify for the semi-final behind the winner Phyllis Francis (US, 50.58) with Margaret Bamgbose of Nigeria (51.43) in third place.
Ofonime Odiong, who left Calabar, January this year to adopt Bahraini nationality had in July this year at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland, broke 23s for the first time in her career to win her first major silverware for her adopted country Bahrain, after maintaining an unbeaten streak for the entire duration of the competition.
The former Nigerian Junior Champion in the 400m raced to the women’s 200m title, setting a Bahraini U20 Record (NR) of 22.84s to win GOLD ahead of Colombia’s Evelyn Rivera who set a Personal Best (PB) of 23.21s to take Silver, while Estelle Raffai of France claimed Bronze in 23.48s.
The 2013 African Youth Champion proved too strong for her rivals, pulling away from the curve to establish a wide gap between she and the rest of the field, glancing at the clock as she crossed the finishing line.
Odiong could hardly believe that she had broken 23s, screaming in excitement as she hit the ground, and taking some dance steps afterwards, before doing a victory lap with the Bahraini national flag.
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