Despite the glitches that threatened to disrupt the start of the competition, the 21st edition of the African Senior Athletics Championships commenced with just the afternoon session taking place, and all Team Nigerian athletes who competed in the heats of the men and women’s 100m, qualified for the semis tomorrow.
National Under-20 Champion Joy Udo-Gabriel was the first on the track as she lined up in Lane 1 of Heat 3 of the women’s 100m. Udo-Gabriel, who is making her African Championships debut, executed her race with so much ease as she crossed the line in a time of 11.64s to clinch victory.
Mercy Ntia-Obong came up next, and she also didn’t disappoint. She clocked a time of 11.66s to place 2nd behind Hamida Basaant of Egypt who won in a time of 11.60s.
Ivorian Sprinter Marie Josee Ta Lou clocked the fastest time of all the heats in the women’s category as she won Heat 1 in 11.25s.
In the men’s category, Ogho-Oghene Egwero was in a stacked field with both Ben Youssef Meite and South Africa’s Simon Magakwe. Egwero, who is a seasoned campaigner at the championships, eventually placed 3rd in Heat 1, posting a time of 10.52s. Meite won the race in 10.41s, while Magakwe was 2nd.
Three-time National Champion in the 100m, Seye Ogunlewe was the only Nigerian male sprinter to win his heat. Ogunlewe barely broke a sweat on his way to clinching victory in the final heat of the day, crossing the line in 10.42s.
On the part of Enoch Adegoke, the Commonwealth Games 100m finalist placed 4th in his heat, clocking a time of 10.64s. South Africa’s Akani Simbine won the race in a time of 10.30s.
The semi-finals and final of both the men and women’s 100m will come up on Day 2 of the competition.