Itsekiri Usheoritse makes swift progress in European circuit
Itsekiri Usheoritse surely had a great time in his first European tour. The reigning 100m National Sports Festival champion made his European debut on May 26th at the Meeting National Elite in Forbach, France where he clocked 10.31s (+0.4m/s) to win the men’s 100m ahead of Adam Thomas and Ogho-Oghene Egwero in 10.46s and 10.50s. Itsekiri ran an SB of 10.30s in the heats, same as Egwero who dropped 10.38s
Everything charged up at his second meet where he secured qualification for the 2019 World Champs, blazing to a PB of 10.07s (+1.7) to win men’s 100m at the 55th International Whitsun Festival in Rehlingen. Itsekiri is now Nigeria’s 3rd fastest in the 100m this year from June 9th. His compatriot, Seye Ogunlewe finished 3rd in the race running a personal best of 10.11s, just 0.01s off the World Champs qualifying standard.
A few days finished at the Meeting de Montreuil in France, Itsekiri finished second with a time of 10.38s behind Japan’s Yuki Koike in the Men’s 100m on June 11th.
He was again at the International Meeting Anhalt on June 15th, where he swept past the men’s 100m field, clocking a time of 10.21s to win the event in perfectly still conditions (0.0m/s).
On Sunday, June 30th, he ran a Personal Best of 20.68s to finish second behind Egwero Ogho-Oghene (20.64) at the 87th Hanaeur Games in Rheinau-Freistett in Germany. He won the 100m at the meet in 10.35s.
Itsekiri went under 21 seconds for the second time ever in his career on Sunday, July 7th at the Meeting Bottrop in Germany where he won the 200m Men in 20.95 seconds ahead of South Africa’s Adams Luxol (21.18) and Adigida Onyema of Netherland (21.43).
On the 9th of July, at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meet in Luzern, Germany, he ran 10.38s to finish 5th in the men’s 100m semifinal.
He ended his European tour at the Guldensporenmeeting in Kortrijk on July 13th where he won the 100m in 10.19s ahead of legendary sprinter, Asafa Powell who finished 2nf in 10.25s. Itsekiri also ran 20.95s to finish 3rd in the 200m.
We recall the 2017 National Junior 100m Champion was also a member of the Nigerian squad to the IAAF World Relays held in Yokohama, Japan where he gave a good account of himself.
Itsekiri’s performance in the last couple of weeks has been laudable and we do hope to see more home-based athletes follow his footsteps by taking their talent to the international market for more exposure and favourable conditions.
Itsekiri has now returned to Nigeria and his focus will be at the All Nigeria Championships holding in Kaduna from July 25th -27th.