Almost 200 athletes took part in the third Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria (TAFCAN) competition held under very hot conditions at the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos on Friday. With the new Athletics season set to commence next week, it was a perfect opportunity for the athletes to ascertain their readiness for 2016, and they defied the searing heat to participate.
The 400m was entertaining as it threw up some surprise names in the startlists from both categories. Joy Udo-Gabriel won the Secondary school Girls 100m at the Top Sprinter auditions held in Benin in 2015; this time around she competed in the quarter mile and it was evident how she was struggling after 200m that she was new to the event.
Udo-Gabriel finished 2nd in Heat 2, coming through with a time of 63.9s that placed her 5th overall. Daisy Akpoya who won Heat 1 in 59.5s finished 1st overall, with Charity Agofure 2nd in 59.7s as Adegoke Charity placed 3rd overall with a time of 59.9s.
In the men’s 400m category, Eseroghene Oguma also made the switch from the shorter sprints and he didn’t seem to have any problems as he executed a good race coming from Lane 2 to win his heat in 51.6s. Oguma went out strong and took it easy in his last 150m, not giving in to the pressure he got from Yinka Ogunmola who was hot on his heels in the home straight.
With Oguma’s win in Heat 4, he placed 4th overall as Adebisi Sodiq took the overall win in 49.9s, with Olufemi Ogunmayin 2nd in 50.3s and Olowu Rilwan finished 3rd in 50.7s.
The men’s 100m threw up a dispute, particularly in Heat 3 which was a keenly contested race as the first three athletes also accounted for the overall top three positions.
When the controversy was resolved, Edwin Peter was adjudged winner of the contest, having dipped in ahead of Christopher Obasi to win the race in 10.5s. Obasi finished 2nd in 10.6s with Jasim Abdulameen finishing 3rd in 10.7s.
Peter went on to complete the double in the 200m, running the fastest time across all heats to win Heat 2 in 21.8s and take the overall win. Diana-Abasi Hanson who finished 2nd in that heat placed 2nd overall in 21.9s, with Ashien Godwin 3rd overall in 22.0s.
In the women’s 100m, Rasheedat Lawal ran the fastest time of all three heats to win in 12.0s. She was closely followed in 2nd place by her friend and training partner Blessing Ogundiran who won Heat 2 in 12.1s. Moyosore Badejo finished 3rd in 12.3s.
Daisy Akpova took the women’s 200m in 24.5s, narrowly beating Lawal who came in 2nd clocking 24.6s, with Ogundiran 3rd overall in 25.4s.
In the men’s Shot Put, Isaac Odugbesan who was making his second appearance at the TAFCAN competition, made it back to back victories, throwing a mark of 14.18m that got him the win. Benjamin Timothy finished 2nd with his best attempt of 13.92m, as Lucky Laju finished 3rd with 13.75m.
Feyisayo Daramola won the women’s Hammer with a throw of 50.82m as Sophiat Omizi finished 2nd with a mark of 46.93m and Rashidat Quadri 3rd in 36.92m.
While in the men’s category, Olawale Olatunji took the win in 52.26m as Ganiyu Monsuru finished 2nd throwing his best mark of 51.38m.
Only one athlete competed in the men’s Javelin, Friday Osayand, landing the spear with his best throw over a distance of 56.70m.
Attention will now shift to the All-comers competition on May 4th in Lagos, with many athletes expected to turn out from all over the country to herald the 2016 season.
Please Note: All times in this report are hand-timed.