Day 1 of MTN CHAMPS/AFN Trials Asaba took off with an explosive start at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, as the men’s and women’s 100m threw up new National Champions, with Israel Okon Sunday crossing the finishing line ahead of his counterparts in the men’s race, while Olayinka Olajide dominated the women’s event.

The event was declared open by the Delta State Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Agbateyiniro Weyinmi Isaac who represented the Executive Governor of the state, Hon. (Chief) Sheriff F. O. Oborevwori.

Season 2 of MTN CHAMPS was declared open by the Delta State Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Agbateyiniro Weyinmi Isaac who represented the Executive Governor of the state.

Consider Ekanem had led the standings after storming to an impressive 10.16s in the men’s event, the fastest time across the three semifinals. Sunday had pushed as hard as he could for the finish line, and was hugely rewarded with a big Personal Best (PB) of 10.26s to win his semifinal race, while former National Champion Enoch Adegoke won the third semis with 10.30s.

Unfortunately, Ekanem was disqualified in the final for a false start, throwing the race wide open. Sunday seized his chance and raced to yet another PB of 10.20s to take the title. Nicholas Adekalu Fakorede finished 2nd in that race, crossing the line in 10.26s, with Adegoke coming in 3rd in 10.30s.

Israel Okon Sunday emerged men’s 100m Champion at MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials in Asaba.

In the women’s event, Blessing Ogundiran clocked a fast 11.33s, just marginally off her PB of 11.32s to win Heat 3, the fastest time overall in the heats.

In the semis, Olayinka Olajide upped the stakes, posting a new PB of 11.32s and extended her dominance to the final, running the fastest time by a Nigerian woman this year, taking the women’s 100m title at the MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials with a new PB of 11.19s, a massive improvement from the 11.37s she ran last month in Lagos, while Ogundiran crossed the line in 2nd.

Olayinka Olajide continued her impressive showing in 2024 by claiming the women’s 100m title at MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials in Asaba.

Faith Osamuyi was the woman to beat in the 100m Hurdles where she upstaged her more experienced rivals. She gave a glimpse of what was to come when she claimed a big scalp in the semis, holding off the late charge from Stella Ayanleke who chased her down to the finish line to record a new PB of 13.60s, a time she further lowered to 13.48s to win the final.

Faith Osamuyi crossed the line ahead of her more established counterparts in the 100m Hurdles.

Hamid Sambo was not left out of the PB rain as he set a new lifetime best of 3:50.75 to win the men’s 1500m finals, while the first event of the day, the men’s 10,000m was won by Danjuma Jan of High Altitude Club in Jos, Plateau State, who posted a time of 32:38.95.

Veteran Patience Okon-George put up a good showing in the women’s 400m, racing to a Season’s Best of 52.06s to top qualifications into the women’s 400m final and will be favoured to win the event ahead of the final on Day 2 of the MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials, which will be used to select the Nigerian Team to next month’s African Games in Accra, Ghana.

Patience Okon-George clocked an impressive Season’s Best to open her season.

Sikiru Adeyemi was the fastest overall in the men’s 400m heats where he clocked 46.43s to win Heat 3 of the event. He was followed by Samson Nathaniel who crossed the line in Heat 5 with 46.80s, while Daniel Atinaya dominated Heat 8 with 46.83s.

Other events for Day 2 include the 200m (Senior), 400m Hurdles (Juniors & Seniors), 100m semis and final (Cadet & Youth), High Jump (Senior), 3000m Steeplechase (Senior), Long Jump (Junior) and many more.

The competition runs from 17th to 21st February, 2024.

Yemi Galadima 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, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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