Patience Okon George stormed to a Season’s Best (SB) of 51.06s, running the fastest time by a Nigerian female quarter-miler this year to win the women’s 400m at the AFN Golden League meet in Akure, Ondo State.
The National women’s 400m champion ran a good race to power herself to victory with a Season’s Best of 51.06s, finishing strongly with a dominant display she was never in danger of losing. Yinka Ajayi placed 2nd in 52.27s, with Omolara Omotosho running 52.61s to finish 3rd in the race.
George earlier this season ran 52.00s to win at the Sapele Golden League, and finished 2nd at the Dakar World Challenge as she chased her first sub 52s of the season. However she turned up in Akure with a good outing and seems to be peaking in time this season as she sets her sights on the African Athletics Championships.
Meanwhile, the other star performer for the day was Divine Oduduru who claimed the double at the competition. In fact Oduduru ran a Personal Best (PB) in the men’s 100m A final which he won clocking 10.29s. For the first time in the 100m, he defeated Ogho-Oghene Egwero who finished 2nd in 10.34s, as Emmanuel Arowolo ran a PB of 10.48s to place 3rd.
Oduduru completed the double, winning the men’s 200m in 20.53s, with Arowolo finishing 2nd also running a PB of 21.01s and Gambia’s Joof Alieu 3rd in 21.35s. Oduduru will be hoping for a big season, having missed the 2015 World Championships last year through an illness, but have not relented since winning Silver in the 200m at the 2015 African Games in Brazzaville.
“Today was like a mystery because during my recent training with my coach, I ran a 10.4 and I was mad, because I usually run a 9.8 (hand timing) just before a competition. My coach told me to pull myself together because it doesn’t matter what I do in training, as long as I get yourself together; that’s exactly what I did and I got a new PB. My former PB was 10.30s.” Oduduru told Making of Champions.
“Everyday champions are made. I always listen to Usain Bolt. Today before my race I listened to a motivational talk by Maurice Greene, and he said “A champion is not made in a day. Today if you are a champion, all you need to do is to get yourself together. Think positively and you’ll be a champion.” Before I came here I meditated a lot on that, and I got a good result today.
In the women’s 100m A final, Agnes Osazuwa maintained her consistency over the season, winning what was a keenly race in a 11.52s. Peace Uko finished 2nd in 11.62s with Alphonsus Aniekeme 3rd in 11.72s.
Making of Champions’ Joy Udo Gabriel won the women’s 100m B final with a new PB of 11.87s as Blessing Adiakerehna finished 2nd in 11.89s and Blessing Ogundiran 3rd in 11.96s.
In the women’s 200m, Mercy Ntiaobong won the race in 23.83s as Peace Uko finished 2nd in 24.18s and Justina Sule 2nd in 24.24s.
Meanwhile in the men’s 400m, Orukpe Erayokan showed that he had fully recovered from the injury he sustained in Sapele last month, running an SB of 46.22s to win the men’s 400m. Former national champion Isah Salihu finished 2nd in 46.45s with Henry Okorie 3rd in 47.12s.
Heptathlete, Oluwakemi Francis was the fastest through the ten barriers as she defeated Grace Ayemoba to win the women’s 100m with a PB of 13.47s. Ayemoba finished 2nd in 14.12s with Favour 3rd in 14.38s.
While Martins Ogieriakhi won the men’s 110m Hurdles in 14.16s, with Samuel Okon 2nd in 14.45s and Samuel Osadolor 3rd in 14.56s.
Rita Ossai won the women’s 400m Hurdles clocking 57.36s and Glory Nathaniel 2nd with a time of 58.11s, with Daisy Akpofa finishing 3rd in 58.17s.
The athletes really turned the screw on the last Golden League of the season, displaying good performances with many of them expecting to be named in Nigeria’s team to the African Athletics Championships in Durban, South Africa.