National Youth Games
Omubo Gershorn clutching his right thigh as he struggled to finish in the Boys 200m

Athletics actions continued on Day 3 of the National Youth Games in Ilorin, with the 200m and the Relays taking center stage as states battled for supremacy in the championship.

Going by how some of the athletes ran their respective 200m heats, one could sense that they had a point to prove, particularly those who didn’t medal or even made the 100m final on Tuesday.

FCT’s Rosemary Chukwuma who was disqualified in the 100m final clocked the overall fastest time in the 200m, winning heat 4 with a time of 25.08s, and Delta’s Favour Ofili running the 2nd fastest time to take heat 1 in 25.26s while Akwa Ibom’s Peace Okon was 3rd best overall in 25.47s.

Chukwuma ran the fastest time in the Girls 200m heats

Shell sponsored Chiamaka Egbochinam representing Anambra state won heat 6 of the Girls 200m in 26.01s, booking her passage to the final on Friday.

National Youth Games
A delighted Chiamaka Egochinam after qualifying for the 200m final

In the Boys category, Ondo’s Alaba Akintola continued his quest for the double with victory in heat 6 with a time of 22.11s, while Nsikark Francis posted the 2nd fastest time taking heat 8 in 22.18s and Oyo’s Aderoju Waliyu clocking the 3rd best time with victory in heat 4 in 22.52s

Alaba Akintola will be hoping he can double at the National Youth Games

There were segments as well for physically challenged athletes who had an opportunity to compete in the 100m T46, a classification for disability in athletics. People in this class have a single below or above the elbow amputation, it is one of several classifications for athletes with ambulant related disabilities.

In the Girls’ 100m T46, there were two semifinals with Akwa-Ibom’s Ability Udo winning heat 2 with the best time of the two races in 14.33s. Bauchi’s Favour Martins won heat 1 in 15.37s

National Youth Games
A happy Ability Udo after winning her 100m T46 semifinal race.

The Boys 100m T54 final promises to be exciting going by how well the athletes performed in the semis. Ondo State’s Emmanuel Adu posted the best time to win heat 2 in 12.23s, while Daniel Okanlawon won heat 1 in 12.23s. The closest athlete to both was Delta’s Ayomide Adebanjo who finished 2nd in heat 1 in 12.56s.

Ogun state’s Adeyinka Bamtefa calculated her race very well to wn the women’s 800m title crossing the line in 2:09.42. Akwa Ibom’s James Comfort placed 2nd in 2:12.27 while Efeyoma Eferurhobo from Delta was 3rd in 2:20.71.

In the Boys 800m, Osun’s Omoyemi Omoniyi won in 2:00.72, beating Kwara’s Teslim Oyedele who was 2nd in 2:01.28 & Benue’s Paul Aondoahemba 3rd in 2:01.52.

National Youth Games
Omoniyi clinched the Boys 800m title

In the only field event of the day, Delta’s Solomon Okwelum won the Boys Long Jump with a mark of 6.66m, beating Moses Epheri from Rivers who was 2nd with a mark of 6.57m and Osun State’s Rasheed Yusufu 3rd jumping a distance of 6.38m

National Youth Games
Delta’s Okwelum clinched GOLD for his state in the Boys Long Jump

The Relay heats brought down the curtains on Day 3 with various states competing in the 4x100m Mixed Relay , 4x100m, and the 4 x 400m Mixed Relay. For relay results, you can click here to see states who won and qualified for the final.

National Youth Games
Nsikark Francis anchoring Team Akwa Ibom to victory in heat 2 of the 4x400m mixed relay

National Youth Games
Team Delta won their 4x100m heat, running a time of 42.85s

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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