Emmanuel Arowolo and Yinka Ajayi were the exceptional athletes on Day 2 of the Making of Champions (MoC) Grand Prix and Relays taking place at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex, as they both won the men and women’s 200m A Final races respectively.
In what was a reprise of the 100m final we saw on Day 1 of the competition, Arowolo was pitted against MoC’s Jerry Jakpa in the 200m final. As expected, they both captivated the spectators with the healthy rivalry built in the last one year.
This time around however, Arowolo was the athlete to nick it once again as he seemed to be the runner who had enough gas left in the tank, pulling through in the last 15m to win in a time of 21.03s. The win made it a double for the reigning National Champion in the event, adding to the 100m title he won on Day 1.
Jakpa may have placed 2nd in the race, but he would take consolation in the fact that he shaved off eight-hundredths of a second from his previous Personal Best (PB), clocking a time of 21.13s. Shedrack Akpeki was 3rd in 21.19s.
In what was a stacked field in the women’s 200m final, Yinka Ajayi showed her class as she closed in on Mercy Ntia-Obong heading into the home straight to win in a time of 23.54s. Ntia-Obong crossed the line in 2nd place, clocking a time of 23.73s. Glory Nathaniel was 3rd in 24.20s.
The men and women’s 200m B Final races were won by Isah Salihu (21.52s) and Blessing Oladoye (24.97s) respectively.
Ajayi had earlier in the day won the women’s 400m final in a time of 52.08s, beating Rita Ossai (54.40s) in the process, while MoC’s Ifunanya Moughalu settled for 3rd in 54.88s.
MoC’s Emmanuel Ojeli was the man to beat in the men’s 400m final, racing to a new lifetime best of 47.47s to win the event. The MoC athlete who had a previous PB of 47.74s, was made to work hard for the victory as Daniel Atinaya led for the first 300m of the race.
However, Atinaya had to settle for 2nd place, with Jare Folarin crossing the line 3rd in 47.61s.
In the 110m Hurdles, Oyeniyi Abejoye proved his class once again, racing to a Season’s Best (SB) of 13.94s to win the event. Chimezie Agodu was 2nd in 14.05s, while Peter Moreno placed 3rd n 14.38s.
Like Abejoye, Grace Ayemoba continued her dominance in the women’s 100m Hurdles as she won the event in a time of 13.66s.
Arinze Benjamin seems to be the new kid on the block. The recently crowned National Junior Champion in the Long Jump, was miles apart from the rest of the field, winning the competition with a remarkable Personal Best (PB) of 7.91m.
Tobechukwu Nwokocha was the second-best jumper on the day, leaping to a distance of 7.32m. National Record holder in the Decathlon, Moreno, placed 3rd with a jump of 7.07m.
In the women’s category, Precious Okoronkwo was the woman to beat, registering a mark of 6.36m. Heptathlete Kemi Francis placed 2nd with a jump 6.03m, with Blessing Ibrahim settling for 3rd spot, with her best jump of 5.73m
After suffering the agony of not matching her Personal Best (PB) of 1.80m at last week’s National U-20 Trials in Ozoro, Esther Isah finally surpassed that mark at the Grand Prix as she leapt to a new PB of 1.82m. Temitope Adesina (1.65m) was 2nd, while Grace Anigbata (1.65m) placed 3rd.
Obiora Arinze won the men’s version as he was the only athlete to go above 2.05m. Also, Cyprian Oyedele cleared above 2m to place 2nd, with Olawole Emudaola placing 3rd in a best jump of 1.95m.
In the men’s Javelin, Mike Eze threw the farthest distance, registering a mark of 61.68m to win the event. Kingsley Igbinosun (59.62m) and Osayande Friday (56.47m) placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Finally, David Kingston won the men’s Triple Jump final as he hopped, leaped and jumped a distance of 15.01m. Kingsley Ayebide (14.93m) settled for 2nd place, beating Anthony Nwawuhe (14.65) to 3rd spot.