Moscow, Russia — UTEP track & field sprinter Abiola Onakoya will be going for the gold in the 4x400m relay at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. The junior sprinter will be taking the track for Nigeria in the 4x400m relay in the prelims on August 15.
Three former Miner athletes, Blessing Okagbare, Churandy Martina and Mickael Hanany, will also be joining Onakoya at the World Championships.
Onakoya was one of the captains of the 2013 outdoor track team. He led the men’s 4x400m relay team to an NCAA Championship appearance after posting a personal-best time of 3:06.88 at the NCAA West Preliminary Round.
The squad’s time went down in the UTEP recordbook as the fourth-fastest time in program history. The junior went on to claim two gold medals (400m and 4x400m relay) and one bronze (200m) at the 2013 C-USA Outdoor Championships, guiding the men’s team to its first championship title since 2008.
Okagbare is ranked second in the world in the 100m (10.79), fourth in the 200m (22.31) and the long jump (7.00m). The national champion will be representing Nigeria in the 100m, 200m, long jump, and 4x100m relay.
Okagbare is proven on the international stage, having claimed a bronze medal in the long jump at the 2008 Olympics with a personal best of 6.91 (22-8) for Nigeria.
During her career with UTEP (2008-10), Okagbare won four national titles, earned 11 All-American honors and secured 14 conference championships. The four national crowns are the most ever by a UTEP woman, and each of them came during her senior season in 2010.
On the men’s side, former UTEP sprinter Martina will be competing in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. The sprinter is currently ranked eighth in the world in the 200m with a time of 20.01. Martina took fifth place in the men’s 200m final with a time of 20.0, at the 2012 London Olympics.
Before running in the Olympic arena, Martina placed first with a time of 20.42 at the European Athletics Championships. His personal-best in the event remains 19.94, which he set at the Diamond League competition in New York, N.Y. Martina led the men’s 4x100m relay team to a gold finish with a personal-best time of 38.34 at the European Championships.
Hanany, who was with the Miners from 2004 to 2008, will be competing in the high jump in the World championships.
Hanany participated in the 2012 London Olympics after qualifying with a personal-best effort of 2.31m, at the 2012 UTEP Springtime meet.
Hanany enjoyed an illustrious career with UTEP. He won a national title in the long jump, was a seven-time All-American and claimed 15 conference titles. He will be taking the field on August 12.
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