It might not have gone exactly the way they would have hoped for, but Arco Group Sponsored duo of Jerry Jakpa and Joy Udo Gabriel left the Port Harcourt Golden League with something to cheer about having secured 2nd place finishes in two finals.

For Udo Gabriel who was making her first competitive individual appearance of the season, she comfortably won her 100m heat and qualified for the final where she finished 2nd running a Season’s Best (SB) of 11.83s.

Udo Gabriel easily won her 100m heat at the PH Golden League

Udo Gabriel tried to match Mercy Ntia Obong’s pace, but it was the latter who steered clear to win in 11.79s and Rosemary Chukwuma placing 3rd with a time of 11.93s.

In the men’s 100m on Day 1, Jakpa jogged through the lines to win heat 2 with a time of 10.4s (hand-timing). There was no 100m final, and no doubt Jakpa would have been one of the contenders to win.

Jakpa jogs to the finish line to win his 100m heat

Jakpa, an alumnus of the prestigious Government College Ughelli (GCU), was narrowly beaten in the 200m final on Day 2, finishing 2nd with a time of 21.61s behind Emmanuel Arowolo who won in 21.53s, with Chukwudi Olisakwe 3rd in 21.68s.


Jakpa (25) strides to the finish line slightly behind Arowolo in men’s 200m final

Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ojeli was another Making of Champions’ (MoC) athlete who had a good outing to savour, racing against a more experienced Ogho-Oghene Egwero in heat 7 but making sure he gave him a chase and coming through to finish in 2nd place. Egwero won the race in 21.70s with Ojeli 2nd clocking a new Personal Best (PB) of 21.81s and Victor Ahkalu 3rd in 22.30s.

Ojeli pushes himself to get to the finish line just behind Egwero in heat 7 of the men’s 200m

Apparently exhausted from that race, Ojeli came back some hours later to compete in the 400m final. In a race where most of the finalists were fresher, Ojeli tried his best but finished 6th with a time of 47.79s.

Competing in his first ever Golden League meet, 16-year old Favour Ekpekpe raced to a time of 22.30s to finish 3rd in heat 2 of the 200m. It would have been a PB for Ekpekpe but for the wind reading of (+2.6). Idjesa Uruemu won the race in 22.00s and Oke Evuarherhe was 2nd in 22.21s.

Ekpekpe a recent graduate of Government College Ughelli, competing in his first ever Golden League

In the other finals that MoC athletes competed in, Moyo Badejo finished 6th in the women’s 200m in 24.97s, and Ifunanya Muoghalu who was leading the standings prior to the Port Harcourt GL, placing 6th in the women’s 400m with a time of 56.10s.

Muoghalu a student of the University of Port Harcourt, recently switched back to competing in the 400m

On day 1, Glory Nyenke who was making her first appearance of the season, finished 2nd in heat 3 of the women’s with a time of 55.85s behind Patience Okon George who won the race in 52.38s.

Glory Nyenke runs an SB of 55.85s to finish 2nd in her 400m heat

The quartet of Udo Gabriel, Badejo, Nyenke and Muoghalu ran the 4x100m relay for Team MoC, finishing 3rd in 48.83s behind Customs who won in 47.09s and Civil Defence 2nd in 47.61s

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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