National Camp athletes dominate Golden League in Port Harcourt!

The road to Commonwealth Games began in December when the list of athletes invited for National Camp was released and it was a turning point for most athletes as the camp organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports has propelled them a step further in achieving their respective goals for the 2018 athletic season.

The 2nd leg of the Golden Leg series which began in December at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium was held at the Sports Complex of the University of Port Harcourt with many athletes invited to camp dominating most events at the meet which was held over the weekend.

After falling at the Commonwealth Games trials organised by the Sports Ministry in Abuja last December, Sprint hurdles sensation Grace Ayemoba was back to winning ways as she outran the rest of the field to clinch the 100m hurdle title in a time of 13.50s. Efe Favour was 2nd in 13.91s while Kadiri Sarah finished 3rd in 14.65s. Grace has been training at the High Performance in Port Harcourt since December and according to her, the comfort of the Camp made her dominate her event.

In the Men’s 110m hurdles, Oyeniyi Abejoye was the man to beat.  Oye successfully cleared all barrier to get in front of the strong field as he posted a Season’s Best of 14.08s. Ogieriahki Martins was 2nd in 14.16s while Bashiru Abdullahi finished in 3rd with a time of 14.22s.

Oyeniyi Abejoye after winning the men’s 110m hurdles.

She had the fastest time in the 400mh heat with 59.10s but Rita Ossai couldn’t live up to the task as she fell while scaling the first hurdle. The athlete who has been in camp since last December didn’t give up as she stood up and tried to catch the rest. She eventually finished in fourth place with a time of 61.76s. The event was won by Clifford Fegor in 60.56s while Kadiri Sarah (60.83s) and Joy Abu (61.21s) were 2nd and 3rd respectively.

National Champion Henry Okorie led the pack in the men’s 400m hurdles with a time of 52.56s. Olowokere David was 2nd in 52.91s while Bakare Gbenga was 3rd in 54.36s.

Igbinosun Isoken was in the world of her own as she sprinted to victory in the 200m final. Isoken attributed her success to the training, environment and everything.

“The camp has helped me a lot. The training, food, environment, coaches and everything.” – she said while speaking to Nigeria Athletics.

Bamidele Emmanuel who has been consistent over the last two months didn’t fail to deliver as he wowed the crowd to stun a new Personal Best of 46.11s. The gangly sprinter who ran a former Personal Best of 46.48s at the 1st leg in Kaduna looks ripe to go under 46s at the AFN Commonwealth trials next two weeks considering the track at the Uniport Sports Complex is 402.75m. Nathaniel Samson dipped in 2nd with 46.34s while Orukpe Erayokan was 3rd in 47.03s.

Bamidele Emmanuel before storming to a new PB of 46.11s.

“The camp has really helped a lot and had great impact in my running a PB, from training, to food and environment. The trials is the most important, so I’m going to Uyo to run and plan my race. If I make the team to Commonwealth Games, I’m going to make a great impact and probably be on the podium.” He said while speaking to Nigeria Athletics

Bamidele Elegbede who is an athlete cum coach in the National Camp stormed to a 10,000m Walk Race AFN Commonwealth standard of 49:13.94s while his athlete Olude Folakemi won the Women’s 10,000m Walk Race in a National Record time of 49:54.06s.

Away from the track, the National Camp athletes also dominated in the field events. 

Pius Nzube was crowned the Triple Jump champion after leaping a mark of 15.70m. Abiola Olajide  was 2nd with 15.23m while Junior sensation Ineh Meyiwa finished 3rd with 15.13m. Top 3 in the Women’s event were Ibrahim Blessing (13.49m), Anigbata Grace (13.22m) and George Victory (12.61m).

Nzube Pius looking back as his mark was being measured.

Eka Kalu threw a distance of 17.90m to win the Men’s Shot Put while Nwoye Austine was 2nd in 17.30m and Kenechukwu Ezeofor (14.99m) settled for 3rd.

National Junior and Senior champion Esther Isa scaled a height of 1.75m to win the Women’s High Jump. Adeshina Temitope was 2nd with 1.60m while Esiekpe Rukevwe (1.55m) was 3rd.

Esther Isa about to scale the 1.75m at the 2nd Golden League in Port Harcourt.

The National Camp has proven to be a place where athletes develop themselves in a peaceful and conducive environment. We hope they will replicate it at the Commonwealth Games trials in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state holding from the 14th – 17th  February, 2017.

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