Jakpa, Usoro others triumph at TAFCAN meet! 


It’s a good way to start the season with winning and more importantly running Personal Best’s.

The Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter) played host to the Coaches Challenge on Friday, January 27th at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

The events kicked off with the Women’s 500m which was easily won by MoC’s Blessing Obarierhu running an amazing Personal Best of 1:19.2s. She was followed by Johnson Yewande of Akhigbe Club with a time of 1:29.8s while Israel Bunmi of Unic was in third place with 1:47.9s.

The men’s event had two heats which were won by MoC athletes; Saheed Jimoh and Segun Akhigbe. Segun’s time of 1:05.4s was adjourned the best time while Saheed’s time of 1:06.8s was ranked 3rd overall. Bello Fahd of Eagle Sight finished 2nd running 1:06.14s in heat 2.

In the 1 mile event, Wahaab Zainab was the surprise winner running a time of 5:47.2s while Oladipupo Kabirat and Oluojo Marvellous were second and third in 5:59.2s and 6:11.4s respectively. The trio represented Olapade Track Club.

Speaking with Athletic Heat after her race, Wahaab said,

“I feel very happy winning the 1 mile though my main events are the 800m and 1500m. I just used the 1 mile as a season opener

Wahaab is student of Homat College, Ikorodu who started training last year. She hopes to take her athletics career to the highest level and become a medalist for Nigeria at the Olympics someday.

Akhigbe’s Ebuzoeme Ona won the men’s event with 4:59.2s. Timilehin Adeyemi almost pipped Ona bur he finished in second place with 5:00.5s while Olapade’s Fatai Kazeem ran 5:03.9s to finish third.

In the Women’s 300m, Ruth Usoro of Esteem Club had the overall best time winning heat 2 with a blazing Personal Best of 39.7s. MoC’s Ifunaya Moughalu followed closely to place second overall with a time of 40.1s. Joy Udo Gabriel also representing MoC was impressive in her heat especially in the last 40m of the race where she overhauled more experienced athlete, Rashidat Lawal and won with a time of 40.8s to finish 3rd overall.

In the men’s event, MoC’s Jeremiah Jakpa was the guy to beat winning his heat so easily and confidently with a Personal Best of 33.0s. If he had pushed more, he obviously would have done a sub-33s. Eagle Sight’s Abejoye Oyeniyi was ranked overall second with a time of 33.7s while Peter Edwin of MoC was in third place overall running a time of 34.7s.

Away from the track, in the horizontal jump, Isa Esther who is known for her prolific technique in the Women’s High Jump competed in the 7 stride Long Jump event winning with a leap of 4.61m while Adesina Temitope also of Eagle Sight was in second place with 3.76m.

Nigeria’s Decathlon champion, Peter Moreno of Eagle Sight won the men’s event in 6.21m. Olufarati Dare of Mega Rock was in second with 5.90m while Godwin Monday of Eagle Sight settled for third place with 5.66m.

Benjamin Timothy won the men’s Over weight throw with 10.85m. NSCDC’s Olatunji Wale and Uzo Egbeogu were second and third with a throw of 10.21m and 8.02m respectively.

National Champion, Feyisayo Daramola of NSCDC took the Women’s victory throwing 6.65m. Omizi Sophiat and Cecilia Ekoeyong of Christabel club finished second and third respectively with 6.01m and 5.63m.

The relays are usually the most interesting events in any competition and Team MoC cleared all the relay races.

Team MoC sprinted to victory in the 4x200m Men and Women events with a Personal Best of 1:28.0s and 1:42.8s respectively.

Team Eagle Sight and Olapade Club were second and third in the men’s event returning 1:29.2s and 1:34.1s.
While Eagle Sight and Esteem Club finished second and third in the women’s event with a time of 1:44.2s and 1:48.7s.

4x800m men’s Relay marked the end of the successful competition with Saheed Jimoh, Tomisin Aderuku, Ona Ebuzoeme and Segun Akhigbe taking the victory once again for Team MoC with 8:38.7s. Eagle Sight hanged on till the last 100m where MoC outran them to put them in second place with 8:40.8s while Team Laspotech were in third place with 9:48.4s.

There were five outstanding athletes at the meet and they are; Jeremiah Jakpa (300m), Ruth Usoro (300m), Segun Akhigbe (500m), Blessing Obarierhu (500m) and Wahaab Zaniab (1 mile).

Speaking to an elated Obarierhu, she said

“It’s really encouraging and it’s doesn’t make me feel after we are just training and since it’s the first competition of the year I know good fortunes are coming my way and it also makes me know I have to improve more for my next competition.” 

Looking ahead for The African Junior Championships and what we should expect, the 17 year old had this to say,

“You should expect much more  from me because I’m not just training for training sake, I’m looking forward to run marvellously at the African Junior Championships and I want to thank Making Of Champions because without them I wouldn’t have been here today and I don’t think I would have ran a Personal Best without them. I thank them especially for bringing me down from Ikorodu, putting me in a school here and their support so far has been tremendous.” 

Each outstanding athlete got a token of NGN2000 while the winners in the relays won a cash prize of NGN8000 each.

The next TAFCAN Lagos meet would hold next 3 weeks.

NB: All performances were hand timed.  

Photo Credit: Making Of Champions 



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