Olympics: Teenage sensation Abiola Ogunbanwo breaks National record in swimming event
Budding Nigerian swimmer Abiola Habibat Ogunbanwo has smashed Nigeria’s National Record in the Women’s 100m Freestyle after clocking a Lifetime Best of 59.74s to claim the win in Heat 1 of the event at the ongoing Olympics in Tokyo.
Up against other up-and-coming swimmers including Montenegro’s Andela Antunovic in the first heat of the event, the 17-year-old wasn’t really favoured to win as her previous PB of 1:00.77 was slightly inferior to two other swimmers in the heat.
Surprisingly, Ogunbanwo produced a strong finish in the last 25 meters thereabout to nick the win ahead of Antunovic who eventually finished in 2nd place with PB of 1:00.01.
Although Ogunbanwo’s time (ranked 48th) is well off those of the top-16 fastest swimmers across the seven heats who earned progress to the semis, the youngster will certainly be satisfied with her new milestone record and the experience garnered at the Olympics.
For a fact, she is first ever Nigerian female swimmer in history to go under the one-minute mark in the 100m Freestyle on the long course.
Two-time Olympian Ngozi Monu had laid claim to the now-previous National Record (1:00.50) in the event since 2007, but it’s now been prettied up by Ogunbanwo.
Interestingly, the teenage sensation also holds the National Record in the Women’s 200m Freestyle at 2:15.44 – that she set at Golden Orlando International swimming contest in 2019.