After kicking off the 2018 Athletics season a week ago at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All-Comers meet in Abuja, several athletes stormed the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna to participate in the first leg of the AFN Golden League.
With the uncustomary start to the 2018 season, most of the athletes had different reactions to the weather conditions as some of them ran wind-aided times, while others could not compete in more than one event because of the harsh weather conditions.
The men’s 400m saw the return of Olympic Bronze medalist Godday James to the track after a two year hiatus as he posted a time of 48.40s to win his race. The duo of Orukpe Erayokan and Henry Okorie also joined him in qualifying for the final, while the women’s 400m race saw the quartet of Ifunaya Muoghalu (55.51), Blessing Obarierhu (58.00s), Rita Ossai (56.89) and Gloria Ibeh (59.58s) make it to the final tomorrow.
In the women’s 100m qualifiers, 2017 National 200m Silver medalist Isoken Igbinosun ran the fastest time of the three qualifying heats as she won her race in 11.48s.
The trident of Marvelous Asemota (11.61s), Moyosore Badejo (12.18s), and Doris Nwagikwe (12.32s) all ran wind-aided times(+2.7m/s) which was enough for them to make it to the final.
The final of the women’s 100m comes up tomorrow with the duo of Rosemary Chukwuma and Maria Thompson-Omokwe who had already qualified, expected to spice things up a little.
Also, the men’s 100m saw most of the athletes run with a tail wind. Former National Champion Obinna Metu was the quickest amongst the lot as he posted a wind-aided time of 10.47s (+2.8) to make the final on Saturday.
Equally, Enoch Adegoke (10.59s), Funmilola Badewa (10.67s) and Abejoye Oyeniyi (10.58s) all won their heats to qualify for the final. These four athletes will join the first four from the All-Comers to race to victory in the final tomorrow.
Thompson-Omokwe switched back to her favorite event today, winning Heat 1 of the women’s 200m in 23.51s. MoC’s Badejo finished 2nd in that race as Igbinosun took Heat 2 of the women’s 200m, posting a time of 24.50s.
It was a brilliant run for MoC’s Emmanuel Ojeli as he streaked past the rest of the field to return a time of 21.21s (+3.0m/s) in his first ever 200m race. In addition, Bamidele Emmanuel, Eseorghene Oguma and Prosper Ogbonna all ran below the 22s mark to win their respective heats.
In the 400m Hurdles, Henry Okorie continued from where he left off from last week as he won in a time of 52.86s, while Sarah Kadiri won the female category of the event, posting a time of 63.25s. Dare Shaba and Philomena Ihekandu were also winners in the men and women’s 800m.
On the field, Kenechukwu Ezeofor won the men’s Discus event, throwing a mark of 45.57m while Princess Kara claimed victory in the women’s category in a winning mark of 42.10m.
Feyisayo Daramola was the woman to beat in the Hammer throw as she dominated the event to throw a mark of 50.37m, as Ibrahim Baba clinched the men’s category of the event with a mark of 47.31m. The Long Jump women’s final was won by Blessing Ibukun as she leaped a distance of 5.61m.
Day 2 of the AFN Golden League will continue on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017.