Making of Champions (MoC) Track Club alumnus Favour Ashe raced his way into the history books of Nigeria’s Track & Field on Saturday, June 25th, after running a superb 9.99s in the men’s 100m final to claim his first ever national title, beating Alaba Akintola and Godson Brume in the process. Ashe was one of 16 new athletes unveiled by the club in 2019 as a then 16-year-old.

Reacting to Ashe’s spectacular performance at the Nigerian World Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials held in Benin from June 24th to 26th, MoC Founder/CEO Bambo Akani lauded Ashe’s resilience and indomitable spirit.

He said: “On behalf of the whole Making of Champions (MoC) team, I’d like to congratulate our first alumnus to be crowned Nigeria’s Fastest Man – 20-year old Favour Ashe became the 12th man in Nigeria’s history to run sub-10 seconds in the 100m, clocking 9.99s to claim the National 100m Title at the 2022 edition of the National Athletics Championships in Benin on Saturday. What makes it extra special is that he’s only the third of those twelve men to do it on home soil, after Deji Aliu ran 9.98s at the 2003 National Champs, with Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu also clocking 9.95s and 9.97s respectively at the 2003 African Games in Abuja!

“Incidentally, it was Deji Aliu, as MoC’s Head Coach, who discovered Favour Ashe at one leg of our 2018 MoC Athletics Trials in Ughelli, Delta State, and made the call to recruit him to MoC Track Club in Lagos. Ashe honed his talent at MoC from 2018 to 2021, progressing quickly from 10.72s to reach the 100m Semi-Finals at his first National Championships in 2019, to 10.40s in 2020 and then 10.17s and a windy 10.07 at the BetKing/3rd MoC Grand Prix in 2021 to secure 15 US Collegiate Scholarship Offers, eventually selecting University of Tennessee, where he has already won NCAA 60m Bronze & 100m Silver and the SEC 100m Title within just 6 months since arriving as a freshman in the US Collegiate system in January 2022!”

Ashe qualified for the forthcoming World Championships in Oregon back in May while clocking a new Personal Best (PB) of 10.04s to claim GOLD at the SEC Championships. Winning the Nigerian title was just the icing on the cake for the youngster who was also part of the quartet in Benin that ran an impressive time of 38.35s to qualify Nigeria for the men’s 4x100m relay at the World Championships. Other members of the team are Godson Brume, Alaba Akintola and Udodi Onwuzurike.

As he looks forward to making his international debut at senior level, Akani believes that Ashe has only just scratched the surface of his potentials:

“I believe we’re witnessing the birth of a global star who could go on to become Nigeria’s most celebrated 100m Sprinter in history – perhaps Nigeria’s first ever Olympic 100m Champion in the near future? What’s certain is that, at the tender age of 20, he now has a glorious chance to very quickly become Nigeria’s most prolific sub-10 second runner in history – Davidson Ezinwa did it four times, while Olapade Adeniken and Divine Oduduru have done it 3 times each. We could very well see Favour Ashe eclipse all these records in the next couple of years, possibly even before the 2024 Olympics”, he said.

“A new star has been born for Nigeria, and at MoC, we’re proud to have played a pivotal role in his potential emergence as a global sprint star at the next 2 Olympic Games and beyond – indeed MoC has helped to usher in a new generation of world-class sprinters for Nigeria. With the continued support of Corporate Nigeria and Nigerians everywhere we look forward to repeating and scaling this model to unearth more stars for the nation!”

Indeed, Akani continued by thanking MoC’s Corporate Sponsors, including NNPC/SNEPCo (Shell Nigeria Exploration & Production Company) who supported Favour Ashe in 2021 before he moved to the US, and continue to sponsor other MoC Athletes such as 2019 National 400m Champion & Tokyo Olympian Emmanuel Ojeli, as well as 2019 National Junior 200m Champion & University of Lagos Student Favour Ekpekpe:

“None of Making of Champions’ great strides in unearthing and developing the likes of Nigeria’s new 100m Champion Favour Ashe would have been possible without the support of our Corporate Sponsors who have supported MoC’s Student-Athlete Scholarships, such as  NNPC/SNEPCo who have supported MoC Athletes since 2016, including Favour Ashe in 2021 while he was still in Nigeria with MoC Track Club!

“Ashe’s story has proved that it’s possible to discover and develop young sprinting talent in Nigeria and take them to running sub-10 second in less than 4 years! With more Corporates supporting Nigeria’s rising talents before they become famous, even more future global sprint stars like Favour Ashe will emerge out of Nigeria for the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 Olympic Games!”

Having already run a wind-aided 9.79s (+3m/s) in the NCAA this year, the fastest time ever run by a Nigerian under all conditions, but not an official National Record because the wind was over the 2m/s allowable limit, one wouldn’t bet against Ashe being the one to finally take down Olusoji Fasuba’s Nigerian Record of 9.85s set in 2006 – only time will tell!

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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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