Fans at the Yaba College of Technology were treated to a thrilling sight on Wednesday, May 25, as junior athlete, Raymond Ekevwo raced to a Personal Best (PB) of 10.37s to win the Boys’ 100m race at the D.K Olukoya Youth and Junior Athletics Championships in Lagos.

Ekevwo, who only set a PB of 10.56s at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League in Sapele last weekend, lowered his PB to 10.53s to win his 100m heat.

The stakes were raised higher in the final, considering that the competition served as the National Trials for the forthcoming IAAF World Junior Championships billed to hold in Poland in July.

Raymond was the boy to beat in the sprints. See race video here:


The drama and tension that heralded the Boys’100m final was similar to a script written for a blockbuster movie as three apprehensive athletes beat the gun one after the other, leading to their eventual disqualification.

Following the drama, it was expected that the race was going to be a slow one, but Ekevwo defied all odds to finish ahead the rest of the field with an outstanding time of 10.37s, lowering his PB for second consecutive time on the same day.

An elated Ekevwo said: “In Sapele it was my plan to lower my PB, and things worked according to plan, but I wasn’t expecting same here. I didn’t expect a 10.3; it was just by the grace of God. Right now my ambition is to go to Poland and win the World Juniors title in the 100m”.

Olisakwe was one of the 'big names' tipped to win the 100m, but he failed to make it to the final.
Olisakwe was one of the ‘big names’ tipped to win the 100m, but he failed to make it to the final.

In a strange turn of events, the likes of Olisakwe Chukwudi and Thankgod Igube, who had been tipped to dominate the Boys’ 100m, ended up not running in the final as the qualifiers were selected on the basis of their times.

Ekevwo however believes that his impressive display was no fluke, and says he would have still won the race even if the ‘big boys’ had made it to the final:

“I won’t say that I won because they didn’t run. Even if they were here, I would have still done the same thing. The next thing for me is to return to training so that I can get better”, he said.

Aniekeme clocked a PB of 11.35s to win her 100m heat.
Aniekeme clocked a PB of 11.35s to win her 100m heat.

Aniekeme Alphonsus ran a PB of 11.35s to win her heat in the Girls’ 100m race, but the final was a close call between her and Mercy Ntiabong. Alphonsus won with a time of 11.59s, a far cry from her time in the heats.

She said, “I am very happy that I ran a PB of 11.35s. I am grateful to God. The reason I ran a slower time in the final was probably because of tension. I need to work on my start and finishing, so that I can run faster. My target is to win the GOLD medal in Poland and run a new record as well.”

Ntiaobong took Heat 1 of the Girls’ 200m in 23.79s ahead of Praise Idamadudu, while Marvelous Asemota won Heat 2 in 25.67s, as Making of Champion’s (MoC) Chiamaka Egbochinam dominated Heat 3 in 25.91s.

Mercy comfortably won her 100m/200m heats
Mercy comfortably won her 100m/200m heats

It was another win for Team MoC as Joy Udo-Gabriel clocked 25.71s to take Heat 4, while Ruth Usoro won the final Heat in 24.98s.

Knowledge Omovoh and Idamadudu won their respective heats in the Girls’400m in 55.81s and 54.20s respectively.

Akindele Atanda clocked 48.98s to win Heat 1 of the Boy’s 400m. Emmanuel Bamidele came from behind to win Heat 2 in a much faster time of 47.77s, as Heat 3 went to Afeez Abdulrahman who clocked 48.09s.

Afeez Abdulrahman won the 200m heat ahead of Toluwani Adebakin.
Afeez Abdulrahman won the 200m heat ahead of Toluwani Adebakin.

Toluwani Adebakin emerged winner of Heat 4 in 49.54s, with MoC’s Ese Oguma topping the field in Heat 5 in 50.94s, while Saheed Jimoh ran a time of 50.87s to win Heat 6. Francis Nsikak was no match for his peers as he raced to the finish line in 49.20s to win the final Heat of the Boys’ 400m.

Bashiru Abdullahi returned a time of 13.72s to win the Boys’ 110m Hurdles final to finish ahead of Precious Ojeikere. Ojeikere disclosed that it would be a dream come true to make the team to Poland:

“I will feel very happy and delighted if I make the team to the World Juniors, because this will make it my second international outing, and I am really hoping I can go out there and do my best. My first outing was at last year’s African Youth Championships in Mauritius.”

Precious Ojeikere won Heat 1 of the 110 Hurdles.
Precious Ojeikere won Heat 1 of the 110 Hurdles.

Precious Peter won the Boys’ Javelin with a mark of 58.26m, while Onyejiaka finished 2nd with 58.08m, and Okpala 3rd after a throw of 50.30m.

Esther Issa won the Girls’ High Jump with a clearance of 1.70m, same height as Ngozi Nwichi who was 2nd. Grace Anigbata was 3rd with 1.65m. Uche Brown won the Girls’ Triple Jump with a PB of 12.96m and revealed that she had been banking on going over 13m.

She said, “My target was to jump over 13m here but even though I didn’t achieve that, I set a PB of 12.96m. I know I can do better, but I need to improve on some of my techniques, including my landing. I know that my coach will correct these very soon.”

Uche Brown won the Girls' Triple Jump event.
Uche Brown won the Girls’ Triple Jump event.


David Ejumeta

Mercy Ntiabong


Godwin Ashien

Mercy Ntiabong and Aniekeme Alphonsus

Ruth Usoro

Bashiru Abdullahi


Ruth Usoro

Raymond Ekevwo


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