Team Delta’s Timothy Emeoghene almost broke the 50s barrier for the first time in his career after storming to a new National Sports Festival (NSF) Record and Personal Best (PB) of 50.06s to snatch GOLD in the men’s 400m Hurdles on Day 2 of Athletics at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Edo State.

The talented hurdler who is the current National Champion in his event, having clocked a then PB of 50.45s in Kaduna in 2019, bettered the previous Festival Record of 51.07s set by David Olowookere in Abuja in 2018.

Former National Champion, Henry Okorie of Edo State, nicked Silver in a Season’s Best (SB) of 51.73s. This is only Okorie’s second outing in 2021 after the Betking/3rd MoC Grand prix where he set a then SB of 52.14s. Stephen Eloji representing Niger State, claimed Bronze in a time of 52.12s.

Emoghene may have run inside 50s but for his slight hesitation before crossing the line. He opened his 2021 season last month at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Evaluation Meet in Akure where he set an SB of 50.91s, then bettered his mark to 50.76s two weeks later at the BetKing/ 3rd MoC Grand Prix.

Reigning National Champion Abasiono Akpan of Akwa Ibom State ran a dominant race to cross the line in a PB of 57.63s, shaving off 0.03s from her previous lifetime best with which she won Bronze at the 2019 African Games in Morocco. Comfort Ekanem of Oyo State followed in 58.68s. Team Ogun’s Sarah Ochigbo set an SB of 58.91s to complete the podium as Delta’s Oluwakemi Francis narrowly missed out on a medal in 4th place (59.73s).

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.

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