Is Favour Ofili primed for global recognition against Ta Lou-Smith and Gina Bass at the African Championships?

Ta Lou-Smith and Favour Ofili

Is Favour Ofili primed for global recognition against Ta Lou-Smith and Gina Bass at the African Championships?

Funmilayo Fameso 13:46 - 21.06.2024

Can Favour Ofili dethrone Ta Lou-Smith and Gina Bass as the queen of African women's sprinting at the African Championships in Cameroon?

Newly crowned Nigeria's fastest woman, Favour Ofili is primed for another vital competition, this time facing the continent's fastest woman in history Marie-Josee Ta Lou-Smith and African Games champion Gina Bass at the African Championships in Cameroon.

The Nigerian speedster who has been on a string of consistent impressive performances this season and punched her Paris ticket at the Olympic trials in Benin with 11.06s, will be gunning for her first senior African Championships title when she competes in the women's 100m event.

Nigeria's fastest woman Favour Ofili

However, she'll face stiff competition from Ta Lou-Smith and in-form Gambian star Bass - both the top challengers of winning the title.

Despite the duo being more experienced and highly rated, Ofili has proven this season that she can hold her own against some of the world's best top sprinters, which she has done twice after matching US star Aleia Hobbs at the LSU Invitational in a windy 10.78s and defeating a stacked field at the NYC Grand Prix.

With Bass also in her best career shape following her first sub-11s clocking of 10.93s last month and winning the Stockholm Diamond League, the Gambian speed legend will be a tough one to overcome by her rivals.

Ta Lou-Smith remains the outright favourite as one of the world's best sprinters and has a Season's Best (SB) of 10.92s she blazed to at the Jamaica Invitational, but ever since has been unable to replicate the same measure of performance.

Ivorian sprinter Marie Josee Ta Lou-Smith. Photo: Imago

Another worthy mention capable of challenging for the title is Nigeria's Rosemary Chukwuma - the fastest in this season with her brilliant Personal Best of 10.88s clocked nearly a month ago at the NCAA West preliminaries.

The 22-year-old placed third at the NCAA Championships so she will be brimming with confidence for another medal in Cameroon.

Rosemary Chukwuma qualifies for NCAA 100m final in second fastest time
Rosemary Chukwuma had a brilliant performance at the NCAA Championships

If Ofili or Chukwuma can spring an upset against Ta Lou-Smith and Bass, their victory will propel them to global recognition as the next big sprint star from the continent and an underdog for a medal at the Paris Olympic Games.

They will also return Nigeria back to the podium for the first time in 10 years since Blessing Okagbare.