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Grieving Nigerian Wins Heat

September 25, 2000|ROBYN NORWOOD

SYDNEY, Australia — Eighteen days ago, Glory Alozie's fiance was killed when he was struck by a car in Sydney.

Today an emotional but composed Alozie took her mark for the 100-meter hurdles and won her heat, advancing to the semifinals Wednesday.

"I was focusing on my race, and just to run for the glory of God," said Alozie, one of Nigeria's best medal hopes after finishing second to Gail Devers at the world championships last year in Spain.

Her fiance, Hyginus Anugo, was killed Sept. 7 in Sydney, where he was training with the Nigerian team even though the promising 22-year-old 400-meter runner was not scheduled to race.

"We are from the same tribe, and we trained together with the same coach, so we are really close," Alozie said, wearing a chain with a small gold heart turned toward the back of her neck.

"When everything happened, it was difficult for me. But you know, God has comforted me and He has encouraged me and He has taken care of everything. So I think it's well with me by the grace of God."

Deeply religious--"My parents gave me my name, and the meaning is the Glory of God," Alozie said--she has taken comfort from her teammates.

"They have been very helpful, and some of my friends who are also Christians, they have really helped me a lot to pass through a difficult time," Alozie said.

The thought of not competing after the accident entered her mind, but only briefly, she said.

"We really trained together. Even though he is no more here, I still like to compete. I did not want to stop on the way.

"I don't like remembering for now. Because I think everything is being taken care of by God."

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