The late arrival of Team Nigeria at the ongoing IAAF World Junior Championships in Poland, claimed another casualty in Commonwealth Youth Games Silver medallist Aniekeme Alphonsus, as she finished 5th in her heat on Day 2 of the competition.

Three athletes – Raymond Ekevwo, Emmanuel Arowolo and Praise Idamadudu had missed their events (men’s 100m and women’s 400m) on Day 1 of the championship after arriving in Bydgoszcz on Tuesday.

Alphonsus, who came to the competition with the seventh fastest time in the rankings (11.34s) no doubt succumbed to exhaustion, and could only manage a time of 11.85s in Heat 5, missing out on a place in the semis. Incidentally, her heat was won by Nigerian-born Bahraini athlete Iman Isa Jassim who returned a time of 11.66s.

However Mercy Ntia-Obong was fortunate to advance to the next round after coming 2nd in Heat 4 behind Poland’s Ewa Swoboda who ran the fastest time overall in the heats, posting 11.10s. Ntia-Obong clocked 11.62s.

Other heats were won by Trinidad and Tobago’s Khalifa St Fort (11.50s), tournament favourite Candace Hill (11.43s), Great Britain’s Imani-Lara Lansiquot who clocked a Personal Best (PB) of 11.17s, and Evelyn Rivera (11.55s) of Colombia.

African Junior Champion Bashiru Abdullahi progressed to the semis of the 110 Hurdles which will take place on Wednesday evening. The hurdler placed 3rd in 13.72s behind Australia’s Nicholas Andrews (13.56s) and Joshuán Berrios of Colombia who returned a PB of 13.56s.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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