Former Making of Champions (MoC) athlete Favour Ashe has become only the second man in history to run a sub-10s on Nigerian soil, holding off the challenge from a star-studded field to win the men’s 100m final on Day 2 of the ongoing Nigerian World Championships/Commonwealth Games Trials in Benin-City, Edo State.
The University of Tennessee Freshman had easily qualified for the final after running 10.07s to win his semifinal race earlier in the day, putting him in contention for the title. Ashe did not disappoint as he stormed to the first sub-10 of his career, holding off Alaba Akintola (10.06s) and Godson Brume (10.15s) to claim the coveted title of Nigeria’s fastest man with a time of 9.99s.
Ashe is certainly following in the footsteps of his former coach, Deji Aliu, who is the first man to run inside 10s on home soil, having won the men’s 100m at the 2003 edition of the National Championships held in Abuja in a then lifetime best of 9.98s, before bettering his time to 9.95s at the African Games later that year. Ashe is now the 12th Nigerian athlete in history to run sub 10s, joining an elite group.
The 20-year-old has since come a long way from last year when he placed 6th in the final of the men’s 100m at the Olympic Trials. Despite being the only Freshman in the lineup of the men’s 100m final at this month’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, he held his own to win Silver with a time of 10.08s.
In the women’s race, Grace Nwokocha held off the challenge of Rosemary Chukwuma to win her first women’s 100m title at the National Championships, getting to the line in a time of 11.03s as the latter followed in 11.07s. Tima Godbless claimed Bronze after returning a time of 11.38s.
Nwokocha made the finals of the 100m and 200m at the NCAA Championships earlier this month, finishing 6th in both races while Chukwuma settled for 4th in the 100m in Oregon. The pair have both qualified for next month’s World Championships and dipped inside 11s in the semis of the NCAA Championships.