The main bowl of the Abuja National Stadium was a beehive of activities on Day 2 of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All-Comers meet as athletes warmed their way into the season ahead of the first AFN Golden League in Kaduna next week.
Former African Champion Folashade Abugan started her season on a high note as she breezed past the duo of Margaret Etim and Oluchi Offorma to win the women’s 400m final in a time of 55.66s. Abugan who is making a comeback after missing most of the 2017 season, was delighted to have won her race as she looks forward to competing for Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games next year.
Also, Bamidele Emmanuel was the athlete to beat in the men’s 400m as he won his race in a time of 47.17s. Equally, the duo of Henry Okorie and Joy Abu claimed the titles in the hurdles category of the one-lap event, finishing with a time of 53.29s and and 63.77s respectively.
In the 200m, the duo of Jerry Jakpa and Rosemary Chukwuma made amends for their 100m losses on Day 1 of the meet as they both went on to win their races. Chukwuma’s victory was even made sweeter as she set a new Personal Best (PB) for herself in the half-lap event.
Jakpa’s win wasn’t all that easy though as he had the likes of Orukpe Erayokan and Isah Salihu to contend with. However, he was able to pull through as he crossed the finish line 1st in a time of 21.28s in Final A of the men’s 200m. Erayokan (21.38) and Salihu (21.70) finished in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The other final saw Making of Champions (MoC) Segun Ahkigbe claim the victory in a time of 22.40s as Babatunde Samuel and Ayileye Olawale followed suit to cross the finish line in 2nd and 3rd.
In the women’s final, Rosemary Chukwuma won her race without breaking so much of a sweat to finish ahead of Moyosore Badejo and Victoria Ojediran in a time of 24.33s.
Furthermore, the long distance races saw two men from the Tin City of Jos, Shehu Adamu Mua’zu and Emmanuel Gyang, clinch the men’s 5000m and 10000m titles as they both put daylight between themselves and the rest of the field on their way to victory.
On the field, Melody Bassey Tom and Joseph Paul won the Discus and Hammer throw respectively as they both registered marks of 38.28m and 33.80m. In the same vein, the men’s Triple Jump was won by Pius Nzuba as he hopped, leaped and jumped a distance of 15.06m, while Obiora Arinze clinched the men’s High Jump title with a 1.90m jump
In the women’s category, Oluwakemi Francis was the woman to beat in the Long Jump as she leaped to a distance 5.69m to claim the victory. Grace Anigbata (12.15m) and Nebechi Edeh (35.49m) also won the Triple Jump and Discus throw.
The day ended with the relays as the quartet of Emmanuel Ajibodu, Babajide Ayeni, Eseroghene Oguma and Funmilayo Badewa who represented Team Lagos, won Heat 1 of the 4x100m relays as they finished ahead of Team Customs in a time of 41.71s.
Also, in Heat 2 of the men’s 4x100m relay, Team Making of Champions (MoC) were too hot to handle as they also won their race in a time 41.98s. Team Ultimate and Team Stardom came 2nd and 3rd respectively.