The men and women’s 100m final produced fireworks on Day 2 of Athletics at the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival taking place at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium as Timothy Emoghene chalked up a new Festival Record in the men’s 400m Hurdles with Ihezue Zola Nzube winning GOLD in the men’s Triple Jump.

Enoch Adegoke lived up to this favourite tag coming into the festival, and he came up clutch in the men’s 100m final as he stormed to GOLD for Edo State in 10.28s. His teammate Alaba Akintola was 2nd in 10.29s, with Team Lagos’ Jerry Jakpa taking 3rd in 10.33s.

The women’s final also went down to the wire as Joy Udo-Gabriel of Team Lagos went toe-to-toe with Grace Nwokocha of Delta State, staying with her right into the line, but the latter edged it by two-thousandths to win in 11.42s (+0.2). Udo-Gabriel finished 2nd in 11.44s & Tima Godbless Bronze in 11.61.

In the men’s 400m Hurdles Emoghene got a huge cheer from the crowd from the start, and once he got into the top bend, it was smooth sailing for him, crossing the line in a new Personal Best (PB) and Festival Record of 50.06s to win GOLD for Delta State

The women’s final saw Team Akwa Ibom’s Abasiono Akpan being driven every step of the way to equalling her women’s 400m hurdles Personal Best here this evening as she won GOLD in 57.66, a couple of pounding heartbeats ahead of her closest rivals. 

The men and women’s semis for the 400m gave fans a lot to cheer about. Emmanuel Ojeli of Lagos State ran the fastest of the semis, leading from start to finish to win in a Season’s Best (SB) of 45.99s. Chidi Okezie (Delta State) finished 2nd in 46.32s ahead of Olarewaju Eriooluwa who came in 3rd in 48.09s. 

Adeyemi Sikiru (Oyo State) set the pace in the second semis but was closed down by Samson Nathaniel (Delta State) who edged him out to win in 46.72s. Chidera Nnamani won the last semis with 47.36s. 

Patience Okon-George of Team CrossRiver is not relinquishing her favourite tag, posting the fastest time to win in an SB of 52.79s, while Blessing Ovwighoadjebere (Team Bayelsa) finished 2nd in 54.30s & Josephine Oloye.

Team Akwa Ibom Imaobong Nse Uko won the second semis in 53.29s, while Blessing Oladoye (Team Lagos) ran the 2nd fastest time of her career to finish 2nd in 54.13s over Opeyemi Oke Team Ondo) who was 3rd in 54.33s. The final comes up on Sunday.

For the first time, Nzube Team Delta jumped over 15m in men’s Triple Jump, getting his revenge over Chidozie Kalu (FCT) who defeated him two weeks ago in Lagos. Nzube leapt to a huge PB of 16.37m to clinch the GOLD medal, with Kalu also jumping a PB (16.06m) to get Silver.

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There are very few things in life that make me happy, but talking and writing Sports has to be at the top. I honed my broadcasting skills at the University of Lagos Radio Station and have free-lanced for platforms like Top Radio and Superscreen TV amongst others. Deji loves running commentaries on Football matches and Athletics, and is now a Junior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. He hopes to become a Sports Agent in the future.

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