African Record holder in the women’s Hammer throw Annette Echikunwoke made an impressive debut at the Nigerian Olympic Trials holding at the Yaba College of Technology in Lagos as she dominated the event with a remarkable throw of 72.07m, making her the first woman to throw past 70m in the Hammer throw on Nigerian soil!

Echikunwoke who has already broken the Nigerian and African Record multiple times this year came to the National Trials with a massive Season’s and Personal Best of 75.49m which she set almost a month ago and is looking forward to making her international bow for Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics next month.

It was also a good competition for Sade Olatoye who claimed her first national title in the Shot put the previous day and finished 2nd in the Hammer throw with a mark of 67.42m as Rashidat Quadri settled for 3rd in the event.

Having first attended the Nigerian Trials in Sapele in 2016 where he won the men’s Shot put with 19.60m, Commonwealth Games Silver medallist Chukwuebuka Enekwechi showed just how much he’s come of age, winning his second title with an impressive throw of 21.47m, not very far off his Season’s Best (SB) of 21.53m set nearly two weeks ago. Both marks surpass the Olympic qualifying standard of 21.10m.

Finishing in 2nd place was Dotun Ogundeji who was making his first appearance at the National Championships. He recorded a mark of 19.68m as Eke Kalu completed the podium with a distance of 17.16m.

Although she’s been competing for Nigeria since 2016 when she made her international bow at the African Championships in Durban, the 2021 National Trials was Chioma Onyekwere’s first outing at the Nigerian Championships and she threw 62.20m to win the women’s Discus event. The reigning African Champion is looking forward to her first Olympics in Tokyo next month.

She was followed by Obiageri Amaechi (55.18m) who is also competing in the Nigerian Trials for the first time, while Esther Osisike was 3rd with 47.39m.

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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