Just days after the Diamond League meet was staged in Africa for the first time in Rabat, Morocco, another major Athletics competition took place on the continent with Dakar, Senegal hosting the fourth IAAF World Challenge on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s Patience Okon George came close to winning the women’s 400m after she was overtaken right at the line. George who last week won at the Sapele Golden League in 52.00s, thought she had the win in the bag only for Bostwana’s Lydia Jele to pip her and take victory in 52.18s. The Nigerian champion had to settle for 2nd finishing in 52.20s with Jamaica’s Patricia Hall 3rd in 52.75s.
George who last year ran two PBs of 50.76s and 50.71s respectively, will be hoping to get close to that mark this year, and would wary of the threats of Margaret Bamgbose who has run 51.11s this season, and the returning Folashade Abugan.
In the men’s quarter mile, Rabah Yousif won in 46.08s with Onkabetse Nkobolo 2nd in 46.30s and Nery Brenes 3rd in 46.48s. Nigeria’s Orukpe Eraiyokan seemed to have now recovered from the injury he sustained in Sapele, finishing 5th in the race with a time of 48.07s.
As expected, African athletes dominated the Championships with many winning their respective events as they laid markers for the season.
2015 African Games 100m GOLD medallist, Ivory Coast’s Ben Youssef Meite won the men’s 200m in a time of 20.47s with Gambia’s Adama Jammeh running 20.53s to place 2nd as Ivorian 200m National Record holder, Hua Wilfried Koffi finished 3rd in 20.67s.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, America’s Christina Manning ran the 31st fastest time in the wold this year, taking victory in 12.94s with Brigitte Merlano 2nd in 13.02s and Jade Barber 3rd 13.04s.
While in the men’s 110m hurdles, Jeff Porter took the win in 13.40s as Antonio Alkana finished 2nd in 13.40s and Konstadínos Douvalidis 3rd in 13.52s.
South Africa had a 1-2 finish in the men’s 400m hurdles with Le Roux Hamman winning in 50.06s and Lindsay Hanekom 2nd in 50.13s. Senegal’s Amadou Ndiaye finished 3rd in 50.42s.
Joanna Linkiewicz won the women’s 400m Hurdles clocking 56.56s and Anna Titimets 3rd in 56.70s as Lamiae Lhabze came in 3rd at 57.70s.
Jarvis Gotich jumped the sixth best mark this season to win the men’s Long Jump, going a distance of 8.31m (-4.0). Mauro Vinicius DA Silva finished 2nd leaping 7.94m (-4.8) while Mamadou Gueye was 3rd jumping 7.78m (-0.4).
African Games champion Franck Elemba won the men’s Shot Put throwing a mark of 21.01m as Darlan Romani finished 2nd with 20.64m and Orazio Cremona 3rd with a mark of 19.96m.
In the men’s Hammer , Pavel Bareisha won throwing a distance of 75.29m with Serghei Marghiev 2nd with a mark of 75.13m and Yevhen Vynohradov 3rd with 74.53m.
Meanwhile, Hrisóula Anagnostopolou won the women’s Discus with a mark of 58.27m and Natalia Artic-Stratulac 2nd with 57.52m while Fama Top was 3rd throwing 35.07m.