Ese Brume capped off her 2018 season with yet another GOLD medal, winning the women’s Long Jump crown on Day 1 of Athletics at the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF) taking place at the main bowl of the National Stadium, Abuja.
The three-time African Champion who represented Delta State, broke the record set by Chinedu Odozor at the Gateway Games in 2006, erasing the old mark of 6.39m to set a new record of 6.62m. Precious Okoronkwo of Lagos State was 2nd in 6.04m, while Bayelsa’s Grace Anigbata placed 3rd in 5.94m.
Deborah Pam’s quest to win her first GOLD medal at the NSF was scuppered by Ruth Akusho of Plateau State as the Rivers State athlete lost the 5000m title. Akusho won in 17:05.85, with Pam following in 2nd place.
Princess Kara came agonizingly close to breaking her Discus Throw Personal Best (PB) which stood at 44.78m; nevertheless, the Delta State athlete would take the GOLD medal as a consolation.
On the track, the men’s 100m race provided some interesting results as the winners across all seven heats each ran within the 10.4s range. Team Rivers’ Usheoritse Itsekiri was the fastest on the day, racing to a new PB of 10.40s.
The winners from the remaining six heats were Alaba Akintola (Oyo, 10.41s), Jerry Jakpa (Bayelsa, 10.45s), Obinna Metu (Anambra, 10.49s), Emmanuel Arowolo (Ondo, 10.45s), Enoch Adegoke (Rivers, 10.43s), and Ogho-Oghene Egwero (Delta, 10.47s).
In the women’s heats, defending champion from Eko 2012, Peace Uko, made her intent known on retaining her crown. The Akwa Ibom runner clocked the fastest time across all heats, claiming victory in 11.52s.
Other winners on the day include Mercy Ntia-Obong (Akwa Ibom, 11.58s), Rosemary Chukwuma (Rivers, 11.58s), Joy Udo-Gabriel (Delta, 11.64s) and Tobechukwu Ugbor (Enugu, 11.87s). The semis and final for the men and women’s 100m comes up on Day 2.
In the 400m, Team Rivers’ Orukpe Erayokan set the fastest time across the five heats, clocking 46.56s to claim victory in Heat 2. African Championships Bronze medallist, Chidi Okezie was on show for Team Delta, winning Heat 5 in 47.26s.
2017 National Champion Samson Nathaniel didn’t have any worries qualifying, racing to a time of 46.98s for Team Delta, while Nsikak Francis of Akwa Ibom (48.24s) and Oyo State’s Afeez Abdulraheem (47.67s) also made it into the semis.
In the women’s heats, Yinka Ajayi (Delta, 54.22s), Folashade Abugan (Baylesa, 53.52s), Glory Nyenke (Akwa Ibom, 55.78s), and Praise Idamadudu (Delta, 54.03s) all qualified for the semis after they won their respective races.
Prior Ochonogor of Edo state held off a late surge by Henry Okorie (Rivers) to win Heat 2 of men’s 400m Hurdles with a time of 52.54s. Okorie was 2nd in 52.56s. David Olowookere (Oyo) won with the fastest time of all 3 heats, winning Heat 1 in 51.78s