Akwa Ibom State-born 17- years-old Olympian, and National 400 metres champion Imaobong Uko on Wednesday morning ran the fastest time in women’s heats of the World U20 Athletics Championships in Kenya.
The Tokyo 2020 debutant and Edo 2020 medalist won women’s 400 metres in 52.33 seconds. Imaobong’s personal best is within 51 seconds and stand a good chance of winning gold in Saturday’s final.
Edidiong Udo, Imaobong’s mixed relay partner and countryman at Edo 2020 who was following the Kenya events, believe getting gold at the World U20 Championship would be a stroll in the park for the teenage track queen.
“She is up for the gold medal. She was very relaxed for the heat. I think she wants to break her personal best and win the gold at the same time come Saturday finals.
“Her nearest challenger is a girl from South Africa who gave everything to make 52 seconds, finished as second best in the heat. Imaobong has a better chance to win the gold.”
Back in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, a sprint coach who also help discover the junior school girl during Akwa Ibom state hosted Youth Sports, Coach Daniel Umoette expressed a similar opinion that Imaobong would clinch the gold medal.
“She’s going to win. Imaobong has a great future ahead of her.
“She is going to the USA for her educational advancement so we are on the path to developing new teenage athletes like her.”
Coach Umoette assured that his team are currently developing Imaobong replicas as the national youth games approach.