A new champion emerged in the men’s 100m on Day 2 of the 2019 Nigerian Athletics Championships as 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF) 100m GOLD medallist, Usheoritse Itsekiri raced to the sprint double, living up to the hype as one of the favourites in both events.
Itsekiri came to the championship with the fastest time of 10.07s, which he set earlier in the season to qualify for the World Championships in Doha. Having maintained an unbeaten run through the rounds, he pulled out from the rest of the field to win in 10.23s, with Enoch Adegoke finishing 2nd in 10.25s. Three-time National Champion Seye Ogunlewe came in 3rd in 10.27s.
Making of Champions (MoC) Joy Udo-Gabriel claimed her first senior National title after powering to victory, winning the 100m final with a time of 11.58s. Grace Nwokocha finished 2nd in 11.70s while Rosemary Chukwuma placed 3rd in 11.74s.
Itsekiri extended his dominance to the 200m as he stayed with MoC’s Jerry Jakpa who moved out well, but the former came out of the bend to race to victory and win men’s 200m Final A with a time of 20.97s.
Favour Ofili ran the fastest time across all four 200m finals, beating Amarachukwu Obi to win Heat 2 with a time of 23.35s. Udo-Gabriel was second fastest overall, winning Heat 4 with a Season’s Best (SB) of 24.08s.
Emmanuel Ojeli lived up to his reputation as the tournament favourite as he raced to the second fastest time of his career, winning the men’s 400m title with a time of 45.93s. Orukpe Eraiyokan ran an SB of 46.35s to finish 2nd as Shedrack Akpeki ran a PB of 46.54s to place 3rd.
Patience Okon-George led from start to finish to win the women’s 400m with an SB, claiming her fourth National title in the process. She inspired Ofili to a new PB of 51.90s in 2nd place as Amarachukwu Obi also set a PB of 52.03s to settle for 3rd place.
In the men’s 800m final, Adebisi Sodiq did not wilt under pressure from Adegoke Ogunseye in the home straight, doing his best to cross the line first to win the title in 1:51.91.
Comfort James won her first 800m National title, racing to victory in a time of 2:15.03. The last time James won a National crown was in 2016, when she won the women’s 1500m.
Nigeria’s long distance couple Emmanuel Gyang and Deborah Pam dominated the 5000m, with the latter taking the win in the women’s race in 17:14.41, while her husband won the men’s category in 14:54.71.
Martins Ogieriakhi upstaged Nigerian leader Abejoye Oyeniyi in the men’s 110m Hurdles final, winning with an SB of 14.02s. It was a similar development in the women’s 100m Hurdles where Kemi Francis sailed past Grace Ayemoba to win the event in a time of 14.02s.
The men’s 400m Hurdles final turned out to be an exciting encounter between Henry Okorie and Timothy Emoghene. However, the latter timed the race to perfection, moving past Okorie after the 10th barrier to win with a new PB of 50.45s, thus qualifying for next month’s African Games in Morocco. Okorie ran an SB of 50.59s to finish 2nd, and Destiny Oyedele 3rd in 50.91s.
Last month in Abuja, Best Erhire jumped a new PB of 2.10m to win the African Games Open Trials. Today he became a National Champion, winning the men’s High Jump with a new PB of 2.12m, which also secures him qualification for the African Games.
Esther Isah was very close to her High Jump PB (1.82m), winning the National Title today with an SB of 1.81m. Teammate Temitope Adeshina could hardly contain her joy, after jumping a new PB of 1.80m on her third attempt in the women’s High Jump. Adeshina last month jumped a then PB of 1.75m in Abuja.
In the men’s Long Jump, Joseph Edafiadhe leapt to victory in the event, winning with a mark of 7.54m. In the women’s event, Precious Okoronkwo left it till her last jump to snatch the victory, winning with a leap of 6.05m.
Queen Obisesan won the National title in women’s Hammer, snatching the win with a throw of 65.19m.
Samuel Kure Adams threw a distance of 74.33m to win the men’s Javelin title, while Kelechi Nwanaga won the women’s category.