What a race it was! The final of the men’s 400m treated fans to a spectacle as Emmanuel Bamidele continued his winning streak to clinch yet another victory in the quarter-mile event on the last day of the Commonwealth Games Trials at the main bowl of the National Stadium in Abuja.
After racing to a Personal Best (PB) of 45.85s in the semis on Thursday, Bamidele, who ran against notable sprinters like current National Champion Samson Nathaniel, Orukpe Erakoyan and Isah Salihu, lowered the time in the final by clocking an impressive 45.28s. Also, the time he set stands as the World Lead (WL) in the one-lap event this season.
Erakoyan (46.40s) and Salihu (46.56s) placed 2nd and 3rd in the race, with Nathaniel being pushed out of the Top 3.
Another athlete who lowered his PB on the day was Emmanuel Arowolo. Arowolo, who is the reigning men’s 200m champion, finally got the monkey off his back as he legally broke 21s while racing to a PB of 20.96s to win the men’s 200m race.
Uruemu Idjesa who finished 3rd in the 100m final, went one better this time around by placing 2nd in the half-lap event, clocking a time of 21.22s, with Making of Champions’ (MoC) Jerry Jakpa (21.26s) taking the 3rd place.
Also, Isoken Igbinosun made it a double for herself after she won the final of the women’s 200m race in a time of 23.33s. She achieved the feat by handing a defeat to Mercy Ntia-Obong who was 2nd, while MoC’s Ifunanya Muoghalu came 3rd in the race.
In the women’s 400m, Patience Okon-George once again proved that she is the best female quarter-miler in the country by a mile as she stormed to victory in the final of the event while posting a time of 51.40s to take the win. Yinka Ajayi (52.49s) settled for 2nd spot as Praise Idamadudu (52.92s) pipped Rita Ossai to 3rd position.
The men’s 110m Hurdles final was won by Oyeniyi Abejoye – albeit by a small margin. So close was the race that Bashiru Abdullahi, who came 2nd, finished just one hundredth of a second behind Abejoye in a time of 14.08s, with Martins Ogieriahki placing 3rd in the race. As expected, Grace Ayemoba was the winner in the women’s 100m Hurdles final.
Furthermore, Hamid Sambo (1:53.97) and Yinka Bamtefa (2:10.05 ) were the winners in the men and women 800m finals.
Meanwhile, Fadekemi Olude broke the National Record (NR) in the women’s 20km Walk. The petite athlete who was the second Nigerian female athlete to cross the line at the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, erased the previous time of 1:42.56s set by Queen Henshaw in 2015, as she replaced it with a winning time of 1:42.52s.
On the field, the men’s Javelin throw witnessed a thrilling contest between Samuel Kure and Kenechukwu Ezeofor who slugged it out till the end. However, it was Kure who emerged victorious by throwing a mark of 68.93m. Ezeofor was just some centimeters behind after registering a mark of 68.63m.
Also, Esther Isa set a new PB of 1.80m on her way to winning the women’s High jump event, while Olushola Anota also won the men’s Long Jump as he leaped to a distance of 7.67m.
The relay was the final event of the day as Team Police and Customs respectively came out victors in Heats 1 and 2 of the men’s 4x100m race. The women’s category was won by Team Customs.