After upsetting the apple cart to defeat Obinna Metu in the men’s 100m final last week at the AFN Golden League in Kaduna as well as winning at the All-Comers meet, Usheorishe Itsekiri succumbed to his first defeat of the season at the Commonwealth Games Trials which took place at the main bowl of the National Stadium, Abuja, on Thursday.
Ogho-Oghene Egwero was the man responsible for Itsekiri’s first defeat of the 2018 season as the experienced runner was in a class of his own from the heats to the final where he ran the fastest 100m time of the season so far to cross the finish line in a time of 10.37s.
Itsekiri also ran a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.44s to place 2nd as Gerald Odeka came in 3rd in a time of 10.61s.
In the women’s 100m final, Maria Thompson-Omokwe stoked up her rivalry with Rosemary Chukwuma, but it was the 2017 National 200m Champion who came out tops to emerge victorious in a time of 11.68s. Chukwuma (11.74) and Grace Ayemoba (11.83) came 2nd and 3rd respectively.
It was Thompson-Omokwe’s second 100m victory in the space of two weeks, after she won the same event at the All-Comers meet.
In other events, Isah Salihu switched back to his signature event in today’s Trials as he beat the rest of the field to win Heat 2 of the men’s 400m. He crossed the finish line in a time of 48.12s. Akhalu Victor was the winner in Heat 1 as he posted a time of 49.35s.
Also, Hamid Sambo (4:03.17) and Yinka Bantefa (4:48.92) were heads and shoulders ahead of the rest of the field as they emerged victorious in both the men and women’s 1500m race respectively.
Shot Put men final saw Augustine Nwoye come out tops ahead of the duo of Kenechukwu Ezeofor and Samuel Olawale as he threw a mark of 15.13m to win the event, while Obiora Arinze won the men’s High Jump final as he leaped to a height of 1.90m.
Samuel Kure of the Nigerian Customs was in the class of his own once again in the men’s Javelin Throw as he registered a mark of 66.55m to win the event. Kenechukwu Ezeofor (66.32) and Gabriel Aredokun (51.20) came in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Furthermore, Toma Japo emerged victorious in the men’s Pole Vault final as he leaped to a height of 3.5m, while Benald Biamegh (3.4m) came 2nd.
In the women’s Long Jump final, Esiekpe Rukewe of Civil Defence came 1st in a time of 5.51m. Osasuwa Ejiro (5.47m) and Onoara Obamuwagun (5.39m) came 2nd and 3rd respectively. Also, Princess Kara claimed victory in the women’s Discus Throw as she registered a mark of 44.37m.
With the Commonwealth Games set to feature events for the physically challenged, some of the Para-athletes warmed their way into the season for the first time at the Trials.
Okechukwu Stephen was a mile apart from the rest of the field as he claimed victory in the first semi-final of the men’s 100m T46/T47, crossing the finish line in 11.79s.
The other semi-final saw Christian Ifeanyi win claim victory as he powered through the finish line in a time of 11.50s as Galadima Suwabidu settled for 2nd place.