Alaba Akintola celebrating on winning the Boys 100m at the National Youth Games

The 100m finals were the main highlight of Athletics Day 2 at the ongoing National Youth Games taking place in Kwara State, with the two races providing excitement for the many fans who thronged the University of Ilorin sports arena.

First was the Girls 100m final, and such was the tensed atmosphere that FCT’s Rosemary Chukwuma who ran the second fastest time in the semis clocking 12.25s, was disqualified for a false start.

Bayelsa’s Marvelous Asemota came through to win the race crossing the line with a time of 12.02s, ahead of Anambra’s Shell sponsored Chiamaka Egbochinam who was 2nd in 12.15s and Akwa Ibom’s Peter Esther 3rd in 12.22s.

National Youth Games
The top 3 finishers in the Girls 100m at the National Youth Games in Ilorin

Asemota after winning the Girls 100m at the National Youth Games in Ilorin

The Boys’ 100m title was won by Ondo State’s Alaba Akintola who ran a time of 10.69s, beating Akwa-Ibom’s Omubo Gershorn who was 2nd in 10.91s and Clinton Etine from Delta State taking the Bronze in 11.02s

In the Girls 400m heats, Adeyinka Bamtefa from Ogun State ran the fastest time of all three heats, winning heat 3 in 57.07s with Akwa Ibom’s Abasiono Okon winning heat 1 in 58.15s and Opeyemi Oke the 3rd fastest overall in 58.36s having won heat 2.

National Youth Games
Abasiono Okon holding off Joy Abu to win heat 1 of the Girls 400m

In the Boys’ category, there was a mild drama that led to a delay of the 400m Heats after some states started protesting over the eligibility of some athletes.

On running the fastest time in the 400m heats, Emmanuel Ojeli from Delta State slumped in exhaustion crossing the line in 48.89s to win heat 3. Kwara’s David Olowokere ran the 2nd fastest time in 49.23s to win heat 4 while Akwa Ibom’s Nsikark Francis from Akwa Ibom ran the 3rd fastest time in 49.55s to take heat 3.

National Youth Games, University of Ilorin
An exhausted Emmanuel Ojeli after winning his 400m heat at the National Youth Games in Ilorin

In the field events, Hannah Kemele of Delta State won the Girls Shot Put with a throw of 14.08m, while Onome Ogbeni of Ebonyi state finished 2nd with 12.84m and Toni Uma-Kalu taking Bronze in 12.61m

National Youth Games, University of Ilorin
Hannah Kemele with the throw that won her the Girls Shot Put

Boys’ High Jump was won by Osun State’s Rasheed Yusuf who scaled a height of 1.85m, same mark as Best Evhire representing Delta State and also Chidubem Ofuani of Plateau state.

National Youth Games, University of Ilorin
FCT’s Emmanuel Duru in action in the Boys’ High Jump

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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