Seye Ogunlewe lights up 3rd Golden League in Abuja
The 3rd leg of the AFN Golden League was a two-day event held on Friday 16th- Sat. 17th March in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with about 200 athletes in attendance.
The highlight of this month’s leg was the 100m men’s final where reigning National 100m champion, Seye Ogunlewe outspaced the rest of the field to win his favourite event.
This is the first time that a foreign based would come from either Europe or America for this meet majorly attended by home based athletes.
Seye who didn’t run the 100m final at the Commonwealth Games trials last month erupted the stadium as he ran a blistering 10.23s to take the victory. Soon after his race, he jetted back to his London-base.
Former Nigerian champion, Egwero Ogho-Oghene finished in 2nd with a time of 10.30s while Kaduna Golden League winner, Usheoritse Itsekiri settled for 3rd in 10.47s.
In the Women’s 100m final, Team Blessed’s Ogundiran Blessing caused an upset as she went past the rest of the field to win the race in a massive PB of 11.48s.
Ogundiran was the underdog in the race as all eyes were on Isoken Igbonisun, Rosemary Chukwuma and Joy Udo-Gabriel. The young champ couldn’t curtain her excitement as she kept jumping up till she hugged her coach, Hakeem Oyewole.
Rosemary Chukwuma was 2nd in 11.62s while Mercy Ntai-Obong finished 3rd in 11.64s. Surprisingly, Race favourite, Isoken Igbonisun was 4th in 11.66s.
Arowolo Emmanuel has been unstoppable in the Men’s 200m has he ran a blistering 20.85s to take heat 1. The athlete meant serious business as he executed his race so well as though he was going to run a 19s.
Inspired by Arowolo’s time, Egwero Ogho took heat 2 in 20.99s, his fastest since 2015. Ashien Godwin took heat 3 in a PB of 21.93s while Usheoritse Itsekiri won the final heat with 21.66s.
Isoken Igbinosun won heat 1 of the 200m Women in 23.52s while 400m sensation, Patience Okon took heat 2 in 23.57s and she pushed National Youth Champion Rosemary Chukwuma to a lifetime best of 23.63s to finish 2nd in the race.
The 400m Women’s final was dramatic as 3-time National Champion Patience George was beating to 2nd place by Ajayi Yinka who has being steadily improving since 2017. She bettered her Personal Best with a time of 51.22s shoving off 0.08s off her previous PB while the reigning champion ran 51.82s. Glory Nathaniel settled for 3rd with a new PB of 52.08s. Ajayi’s performance also inspired Praise Idamadudu who finished 4th to run a PB of 52.49s.
Since Golden League leader, Emmanuel Bamidele’s disappearance from Nigeria, the floor was open for anyone to claim the men’s 400m victory. National Champion, Samson Nathaniel proved too strong for the rest of the team as he posted a time of 46.33s to finish ahead of veteran Isah Salihu (46.87s) and Daniel Atinaya (46.92s).
Henry Okorie was the man-to-beat in the Men’s 400m hurdles finishing with a time of 52.28s while Timothy Emoghene ran a Season Opener of 54.40s to place 2nd and Edidiong Udo was 3rd in 59.22s. Glory Nathaniel won the Women’s event in 56.17s and she looks good to pick up a medal at the Commonwealth Games. Rita Ossai was 2nd in 58.79s while Joy Abu was 3rd in 59.17s.
After finishing 3rd in his new event, Edidiong Udo went on to win the Men’s 800m title in 1:57.71s Adeyoju Adegbusuyi was 2nd in 2:01.53 while Oyedele Teslim settled for 3rd with a time of 2:01.93s.
Grace Ayemoba continued her winning streak in the 100m hurldes as she claimed the top spot in 13.57s. Kadiri Sarah was 2nd in 14.36 while Esther Isa was 3rd in 16.28s. Bashiru Abdullahi got the better of Osadolor Samuel with a time of 14.28s. Osadolor finished behind the Bayelsa athlete in 14.47s while Okon Samuel was 3rd in 14.50s.
Top 3 in the Women’s 10,000m WalkRace were Olude Folakemi (51:27.55s) Oguh Faustina (53:32.42s) and Queen Henshaw (54:35.66s) while in the Men’s event Fatoyinbo Gbenga took the victory in 49:39.71s. Adeyemi Kazeem (52:43.69s) and Seyi Lawal (53:21.27s) were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The times recorded by the Nigerian home based athletes has been commendable and we hope they improve on it to give a better performance at the Commonwealth Games in April.