Athletes from Making of Champions (MoC) Track Club turned up en masse for the Akure All-Comers Meet which was held at the Federal University of Technology, Ondo State, on Saturday, February 15, with the club being represented by a record 19 athletes – the highest turn out by MoC at any competition since the inception of the club.
Besides turning out in their numbers, the athletes also put up a quality performance, with youngster Favour Ashe setting the pace with his incredible race in the men’s 100m heats where the 17-year old sped to the overall second fastest time across all 12 heats, leaving the best for last when he smashed his previous Personal Best (PB) of 10.60s set at last month’s TAFCAN Meet, replacing it with a new World U20 Lead of 10.40s to win Heat 12, overtaking New Zealand’s Edward Osei-Nketia (10.41s) on the global top list!
Ashe’s new PB exceeds the qualifying standard of 10.58s for the World U20 Champs holding in Kenya in July, and even surpasses the entry standard of 10.44s for the African Senior Champs billed to hold in Algeria in June! Considering how early it is in the season, one wonders how much faster the teenager can go before the end of the season!
Having qualified for the A Final, Ashe placed 7th with 10.63s as Enoch Adegoke won the race in 10.32s while Jerry Jakpa settled for 3rd in a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.40s, having earlier won his heat with 10.41s. Meanwhile Gafaru Audu was 2nd in the B Final of the men’s 100m where he returned a time of 10.76s, bettering the time of 10.82s with which he won Heat 8. Inioluwa Mebawondu was 3rd in his 100m heat in 11.23s.
Men’s National 400m Champion and African Games 4x400m Bronze Medallist Emmanuel Ojeli also opened his 2020 on a high, though not in his trademark event – the 400m, but in the 200m where he raced to the overall fastest time across the 10 heats, clocking a new PB of 20.94s and inspiring fellow MoC athlete John Clifford to a new lifetime best of 21.56s in 2nd place, while 2019 National Junior Champion Favour Ekpekpe finished 4th in his race.
Women’s National 100m Champion and Commonwealth Games 4x100m Bronze Medallist Joy Udo-Gabriel set a Season’s Best (SB) of 11.77s to finish 2nd in Heat 2 of the women’s 100m, then improved her time to 11.59s to finish 2nd to Grace Nwokocha in the final.
15-year old Maria Umoibang wasn’t left out as she sped to a PB of 12.16s in the women’s 100m Heat 3, while Moyosore Badejo (12.27s), Miracle Thompson (12.31s) and Fidelia Ucheobi (12.66s) clocked SBs in their respective heats.
African Games 4x400m GOLD Medallist Blessing Oladoye ran a new SB of 54.96s to win Heat 2 of the women’s 400m, with her time also serving as the overall second fastest across the heats. Teammate Mercy Umoibang also clocked a new SB of 57.77s and was inspired to a new PB of 24.73s to place 3rd in her 200m heat which was won by Favour Ofili in an impressive 23.07s.
Six MoC Athletes competed in the men’s 400m, with three of them setting PBs, including John Clifford who set a new time of 48.78s to place 4th in his heat, Adeola Ayo who posted 48.80s, also in 4th place in his heat, and Eze Owoh who broke 50s for the first time in his career, setting a time of 49.05s to place 2nd in Heat 2.
Olubunmi Lateef was 2nd in Heat 4 where he set an SB of 48.89s, while Gracious Ushie returned a time of 49.14s, an SB, to place 3rd in Heat 1, as Segun Akhigbe settled for 3rd in Heat 6 with a time of 49.40s.
In the women’s 100m Hurdles, Miracle Thompson featured in only her second competitive race over the distance and placed 2nd, just finishing 0.01s outside her PB of 14.93s set at the TAFCAN All-Comers last month. Teammate Fidelia Ucheobi was 5th.