At the end of the Port Harcourt Golden League, there were changes on the Top Lists of the 2017/2018 Nigerian Athletics season, although the rankings in some of the other events remained unchanged.
Majority of the moves came largely in the women’s 400m where there were as many as eight new entrants in the Top 10, changing the previous rankings established after the Commonwealth Camping Trials in Abuja.
Women’s 400m champion Patience Okon George who made her first appearance of the season in Port Harcourt, ran two Season’s Best (SBs) in two days, winning Heat 3 in 52.38s and going on to better that time in the final the next day, crossing the line in 51.94s.
At the moment, Okon George holds the two fastest times in Nigeria this season, with Yinka Ajayi who also opened her season in Port Harcourt, the joint 2nd fastest female quarter-miler in the country.
Ajayi who did not run in the final, won her heat with an SB of 53.16s. Her Team Blessed teammate Glory Nathaniel also recorded that same SB of 53.16s, making her joint 2nd alongside Ajayi on the top list.
Other new entrants in the Top 10 are Rita Ossai (53.36s), Peace Nwaelehia (54.11s), Oluwakemi Francis (54.75s) and Praise Idamadudu (54.82s). MoC’s Ifunanya Muoghalu who was topping the table before the PH Golden League, is still in the Top 10 with her time of 54.50s.
In the men’s category, Bamidele Emmanuel consolidated on his top spot with an impressive performance, winning with a new Personal Best (PB) of 46.11s. Bamidele led the event coming to Port Harcourt, having run 46.48s in Kaduna – a then PB. However, with National Champion Samson Nathaniel arriving for the match up in PH, Bamidele’s work was cut out for him.
Nathaniel finished 2nd with an SB of 46.34s, and is now currently on the 2nd spot on the log, with Bamidele now accounting for three of the six fastest times in the country this season.
Orukpe Erayokan improved on his time from Kaduna where he ran 47.07s, clocking 47.03s in PH and is now ranked at No.3. Daniel Atinaya is at No.4 with is time of 47.24s, while Isah Salihu moved up to 5th position on the table with his SB of 47.37s.
In the women’s 200m, despite not competing at the PH Golden League, Maria Thompson still retained the top spot with her time of 23.56s from the Commonwealth Camping Trials in Abuja.
The trio of Isoken Igbinosun (23.70s), Praise Idamadudu (24.07s) and Mercy Ntia-Obong (24.12s) who were the Top 3 finishers in PH, leapfrogged Rosemary Chukwuma on the standings and are now 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively. MoC’s duo of Moyosore Badejo and Joy Udo-Gabriel are also in the Top 10, with Blessing Ogundiran equally in the mix.
There’s no change in the Top 3 placements in the men’s 200m, but Chukwudi Olisakwe and Emmanuel Arowolo entered the Top 5 for the first time this season with times of 21.50s and 21.53s respectively.
In the men’s 100m, there’s no change to report on as all the 100m heats were hand-timed and there was no final.
It was almost the same case in the women’s 100m, but some races were electronically timed and the quartet of Ntia-Obong, Udo-Gabriel, Ogundiran and Peace Uko posted times that got them into the Top 10.
The results of the Men’s & Women’s 100m Heats and the Men’s 400m Heats from the PH Golden League are currently not included in the Top Lists, but will be once we receive those results from the AFN!