The forthcoming IAAF Continental Cup slated to hold between September 13th and 14th in Morocco may be third time lucky for Nigerian triple jump champion, Tosin Oke’s who will be making his third visit to Marrakech in as many months.
The five-time national champion competed at the at the Mohammed VI d’Athletisme IAAF World Challenge meeting in Marrakech in June where he dominated the star-studded field which included the likes of former Commonwealth champion, Phillips Idowu, former Olympic and world champion, Nelson Evora and South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena.
He thereafter left for the National Trials in Calabar where he picked his fifth crown with a wind-aided 17.21m, which was just 2cm off his Personal Best (PB) of 17.23m. He made his solo IAAF Diamond League appearance in Glasgow where he placed fourth with a leap of 16.51m, trailing after Christian Taylor (17.36m), Will Claye (17.27m) and Chris Benard (16.54m).
His second visit to Marrakech wasn’t as favourable as he relinquished his African title to Mokoena, leaving as silver medallist instead. Prior to the African Championships in Marrakech, the South African had also dethroned Oke as Commonwealth champion with a Season’s Best (SB) of 17.20m, while the Nigerian recorded a distance of 16.84m.
The gap wasn’t as wide at the African Championships but Mokoena won the GOLD again with his very first jump of 17.03m. Tosin recorded 16.60m in his first attempt, then moved up to 16.96m in the second. He had an SB of 16.97m in his final attempt to give his opponent some anxious moments before settling for Silver again. Olumide Olamigoke took sixth with a jump of 16.18m, after his fourth place finish in Glasgow with 16.56m.
Team Africa’s Mokoena and Oke currently occupy 9th and 18th respectively in the world rankings and will have to contend with former world indoor champion and Olympic silver medallist, Claye who comes to the meeting with an impressive SB of 17.75m. His team mate Jonathan Silva of Brazil is 21st with 16.96m. The American finished second in the IAAF Diamond League final standings with 16 points behind Olympic champion, Taylor.
Europe’s Benjamin Compaore (5th with 17.46m) and Lyukman Adams (6th with 17.29m) were also active in the Diamond League series and finished third and fourth respectively in the event, while the Asia-Pacific team comprises of China’s Cao Shuo and Renjith Maheswary (53rd with 16.54m).
Perhaps Tosin’s return to Marrakech for the third time will create the perfect atmosphere for another podium performance, even though it is not certain how much of a priority the Continental Cup ranks in his view. He revealed to MoC during an earlier interview that his markers for the season were the African Championships and Commonwealth Games.
He said, “If I retain my Commonwealth title, it will be a success and if I retain my African title, it will be a huge success. Those are the markers for my season; I’m not really interested in Silver or Bronze. I’d like to get GOLD medals; that’s what I do all this work for and that’s how I will work out how good my season is.”
Having just missed out on retaining both titles, it certainly has been the year of the Silver for Tosin – let’s see what he can do at the Continental Cup against some of the world’s best!
The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th & 14th), and Tosin Oke will be representing Team Africa in the men’s triple jump on Sunday Sept 14th from 5.45pm!
Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm!