On Day 2 of Athletics at the ongoing National Sports Festival, there were a couple of scintillating performances on the track as well as the field. From the men and women in the 400m Semi-Finals, 100m Semi-Finals, and the 100m final, the triple jump and Shot Put where Tima Godbless of Bayelsa state emerged as the 100m National Champion, claiming the victory in 11:32s. Ofoku Praise of Delta state alongside her teammate, Okwose Faith, clinched the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Fakorede Adekalu won his first-ever national title in the men’s 100m, he proved he was no fluke as he won his heat (10.50s), his semifinal (10.34s) and went against a tough line up to claim the Gold Medal in a personal best of 10:25s, ahead of Oyo State’s Sunday Akintan in 10:32s, while Mabilo Nicholas settled for the Bronze Medal in 10:34s.
Samson Nathaniel ran the fastest time across all three semi-finals in the men’s 400m, stopping the clock at 46.28s, followed by Sikiru Adeyemi of Oyo State , winning his semifinal in 46.42s, and Johnson Nnamani representing Bayelsa State, posed the third fastest time, 46.45s, to also win his semifinal. Olaniyi Oluwatimileyin was also a big upset in the men’s 400m semifinal 2 claiming the win all the way from behind in 46.84s. He is definitely an athlete to watch out for in the 400m Finals in two days’ time.
Also, in the Women’s 400m, Queen Usunobun ran the fastest time across all three semifinals to take the win in her semis, running a 53.45s, just ahead of Veteran athlete, Patience Okon George, who as expected also won her semi-final in 53.71s. Seyifunmi Taiwo of Oyo state ran the third fastest time in 54.07s just behind Queen Usunobun.
Moreover, just before the 100m semifinal and finals, Prior Chibuzor was crowned the National Champion over the Men’s 400m hurdles, running a lifetime best of 51.33s to claim the Gold Medal, Sodiq Adebisi finished 2nd with 52.12s with Gbenga Bakre clocking 53.02s to finish 3rd. Abasiono Akpan won the women’s 400m hurdles in 56.83s storming past Sarah Ochigbo who came in 2nd in 57.56s while Nathaniel Glory finished 3rd with 60.35s.
Sadjo Ismeal (30:33.38s) Pam James (30:50.87s) and Gwon Giang (30:57.79s) finished Top 3 in the men’s 10,000m. While Fatoyinbo Genga won the 20km race walk.
Away from the track, there were exciting performances on the field as Abraham Amon who won the Gold Medal in the F42-47 category of the men’s high jump in 1.91m. Flora Ugwunwa won the Gold in the Javelin F54/F57.
Oyasade Olatoye of Delta State won the women’s Shotput in 16.15m along with her teammate from Delta State, Kemele Hannah who clinched Silver in 15.40m. Ashley Anumba of Rivers State claimed the Bronze in 15.04m. It was also an impressive performance from Ikanga Kalu of Rivers State taking the Gold Medal in the men’s triple jump in a distance of 15.69m. Oluwayemi Jerry also representing Rivers State claimed the silver medal with a distance of 15.25m, while Okekevwe Oghenetega of Delta settled for bronze in 15.23m.
The High Jump women’s final was held yesterday as well where African silver medalist, Temitope Adeshina emerged as the champion jumping a distance of 1.77m. Laura Odivwri settled for Silver in 1.70m, while Aruya Hope Clinched Bronze in 1.65m