Several Nigerian athletes opened their 2022 season at the first edition of the Tobi/Abiola Ijebu Sprints Clinic held at the Ijebu-Ode International Stadium on Thursday, February 24th, giving a glimpse of things to come as the season progresses.
The competition was sponsored by African and Commonwealth Games 100m Hurdles Champion Tobi Amusan, and former 400m National Champion and African Championships GOLD Medallist Abiola Onakoya, as their way of giving back to the society and developing sports at the grassroots level. As such, students from several secondary schools across Ogun State took to the track to display their talent.
The students competed in 4x100m and 4x400m relays while the open events consisted of the men and women’s 100m, 400m, 800m and Long Jump, and at least from at least three countries namely Benin Republic, Mali and Togo, also participated in the competition.
In the open event which had cash prizes on offer, one of the top performances of the day was produced by 2019 African Games 4x400m Bronze medallist Adeyemi Sikiru who stormed to an impressive Season’s Best (SB) of 46.36s to cross the line ahead of Benin Republic’s Edmond Houthon (48.30s) and Oyo teammate Afeez Abdulrahman who clocked 48.40s.
The women’s race was won by Olapade’s Janet Adesiyan who returned an SB of 55.18s in Heat 2 with Queen Usunobun (55.86s) and Faith Dennis (56.01s) following in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The men’s 100m final was a keenly contested race and it was Team B’s Sunday Akintan who crossed the line 1st in 10.45s, having earlier won his heat with 10.35s. Christy’s Kingsley Ayebide took 2nd place in 10.46s, with Ajayi Kayinsola settling for 3rd in a time of 10.49s.
Although Adijatu Rejoice clocked the overall fastest time of 11.66s across the women’s 100m heats, it was Victory Godah who took the race in 11.89s, same time she ran in the heats as Rejoice followed in 11.9s. NSCDC’s Agnes Osazuwa clocked 11.94s in 3rd.
Hamid Sambo (1:52.91) was the man to beat in the 800m as he won the battle of superiority against familiar contenders Adebisi Sodiq (1:53.31) and Goke Ogunseye (1:55.47). The women’s race was dominated by Charity Agofure in 2:20.13. Oyindamola Orilele was 2nd in 2:28.37 as Oyikansola Talabi settled for 3rd in 2:33.90.
Heat 2 of the boys’ 4x400m race turned out to be the deciding heat as all Top 3 finishers ran faster than the winners of other heats. Government Technical College ran an inspiring race to finish ahead of the pack in a time of 2:42.21, with Oshogbo Baptist Grammar School (2:48.16) and Ago Iwoye Secondary School (2:52.10) also sharing the spoils.
Government Science and Technical College proved too strong for their opponents, crossing the line in 4:21.89 while Our Lady of Apostles (4:28.29) and Adeola Odutola College (4:35.33) complete the podium finish.