The battle for supremacy between Teams Delta and Rivers in Athletics entered Day 5 of the National Sports Festival (NSF) as the duo of Tobi Amusan and Oyeniyi Abejoye scooped GOLD for their respective states, while also setting new records in their respective events.
On the Field, Esther Isah broke the women’s High Jump record of 1.75m, leaping to a new height of 1.80m to snatch GOLD in the event.
Amusan captured the first victory of the day for Team Delta with a convincing win in the 100m Hurdles. Well clear of the field by the sixth barrier, Amusan clocked 13.03s to add to her Commonwealth Games and African Championships titles. Rather more fitting was the fact that she wiped away the old record of 13.54s set by Amaka Ogoegbunam at the KADA 2009 Games.
Grace Ayemoba of Rivers was 2nd in 13.67s, while Efe Favour of Kano took Bronze with 13.95s.
In the men’s 110m Hurdles final, Oyeniyi claimed victory for Team Rivers in a new Festival Record of 13.85s, shaving off 0.15 from Afiesimama Deima’s Benin 2002 festival mark.
The African Championships Silver medallist dominated the race, building a clear advantage by midway point before pulling away for the victory. Martins Ogieriakhi of Delta State took Silver in 14.23s as Samuel Osadolor of Edo State settled for Bronze in 14.37s.
The men’s 800m final provided one of the most interesting of finals on the day as the duo of Soudi Hamadjam (Cross River) and Edidiong Okon Udo (Akwa Ibom) went head-to-head.
The field ran as a pack through the first lap, with Hamadjam leading Udo by a step at the bell. Udo made his move with 80m to go, hoping to run the kick out of Hamadjam’s legs. However, the 2017 National Champion held on for the win, clocking 1:50.02. Udo was 2nd in a Personal Best (PB) of 1:50.12, while Sodiq Adebisi placed 3rd in 1:51.21.
In the women’s category, Shimenenge Agber won GOLD for Bayelsa in 2:07.79, while Comfort James of Akwa Ibom was 2nd in 2:08.32, and Hawawu Haruna of Rivers 3rd in 2:10.26m.
Mike Edwards of Delta came within whiskers of surpassing Obiora Arinze’s High Jump Record of 2.15m, which he set at the 2002 Festival in Benin. The Nigerian jumper settled for the GOLD with a 2.15m jump, after being unsuccessful on all three attempts at 2.20m.
Cyprian Oyedele set a new Personal Best (PB) of 2.10m to win the Silver medal for Lagos, while Best Erhire of Akwa Ibom also set a PB of 2.05 to place 3rd.
The men’s Long Jump saw Benjamin Arinze claim victory as the Lagos athlete set a new PB of 7.77m in the process. Joseph Edafiadhe was 2nd with a best jump of 7.60m, while Afoke Oshasha was 3rd in 7.38m.