Who will win the men’s 100m at the 2018 National Championships?
The question on everyone’s lip right now is WHO WILL BE CROWNED THE 100M CHAMPION at the 2018 All Nigeria Athletics Championships this weekend bearing in mind that 4 men have gone under 10.2s this season.
NCAA 200m Champion Divine Oduduru, has the fastest time by a Nigerian this year in the 100m, running 10.10 (+1.4) at the Micheal Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas in April where he broke his school’s 14-yr-old record. A week after that scorching time, he went to set a 200m record of 20.15 (+1.0) at the Corky/Crofoot Shootout meet in Texas smashing his former PB of 20.34s, which he ran in 2016 at the Rio Olympics.
Divine has been impressive as he has shown that “African People are indeed born great”. Since his departure to US two years ago, he has drastically improved. At the Big 12 Championships in May, he won the 100m in 10.11s which was just one hundredth of a second off his lifetime best and also won the 200m with a time 20.13s lowering his PB by 0.02s which is a new Texas Tech record as well.
The sophomore recently won the NCAA 200m title beating a more experienced field and becoming the first man in Texas Tech history to win the title. He competed in the 100m at the NCAA reaching the semifinal when he bowed out running 10.33s. The Delta native was at a time the World Leader in the 200m Indoor with 20.18s and has 4 of the top 10 best i200m in the World this year. With Divine’s time over the 200m, he will prolly jog the rest of the field to clinch the 200m title which he last won in 2016 and with the support of the crowd he might go under 20s. Who knows!
Another athlete to watch out for in the Men’s 100m is 3-time National Champion Seye Ogunlewe. Seye who has won the title 3 times in a row; 2015, 2016, 2017 will also be looking forward to defend his title for the FOURTH time. He opened his season at the Commonwealth Games trials in February where he ran a 10.31s in the heats then a 10.44s in the semis but Did Not Start in the final.
The UK-based sprinter later made his debut appearance in the Golden League circuit at the 3rd leg in Abuja held in March, comfortably winning his heat with 10.55s before running a then Season’s Best 10.28s in the final to claim the victory.
Seye who was Nigeria’s top medal contender in the Men’s 100m at the April Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. Australia didn’t disappoint as he went through the rounds, finishing 2nd in the heat (10.20s), 4th in the semis in another 10.20s but was edge out by Jamaica’s Yohan Blake in the final where he bettered his Season’s Best to 10.19s to finish 4th. Despite running hte same time as the Jamaican, he wasn’t given a joint third position.
Seye also competed at the Meeting Elite at Herouville St Clair in France where he ran 10.24s to clinch the 100m title at his first European meet this season in June. The athlete who is signed under Temple Management Company is familiar with the Abuja National Stadium and will be hoping to put up a good performance to edge out other competitors.
Youngster, Enoch Adegoke will also be in the mix as the potential winner of this Year’s National Championships. Enoch who started the season well, winning the Commonwealth Games trials in February with a then PB of 10.31s went on to win his heat at the CWG in a scorching 10.19s to beat England’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey. Enoch continued his fine form winning his semi final in 10.24s ahead of South Africa’s Henrincho Bruintjies who later won the Silver medal. Enoch finished 7th in the final with 10.35s. With the wealth of experience, the 18-yr-old OAU student has gathered from the Games, he will be able to plan his race at this Championships and put up a commendable performance.
Former National Champion Ogho-Oghene Egwero who finished 2nd behind Adegoke at the CWG trials in February running 10.38s will also be vying for the top spot in the final. Ogho clocked a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.27s to place 3rd in the men’s 100m final at the 20th edition of the LA Meeting Anhalt in Dessau, Germany. The 2-time Olympian was also at the Bayer Classic Invite in June where he lowered his Season’s Best to 10.19s to finish 2nd behind Cisse Arthur (9.94s).
Comparing his performances lately, it’s quite certain that Egwero is back to shape and will be ready to go all out at the All Nigeria Championships this weekend.
Others who might be top contenders in the men’s final are;
DAG-sponsored Arowolo Emmanuel who was at the MoC Grand Prix in June where he ran a lifetime best of 10.31s in the heat before running a wind-aided 10.25s to edge out Jakpa Jeremiah to take the win. Arowolo will have to run another PB if he hopes to clinch the top spot in the 100m final but has better chances in the 200m where he has ruled on the home-front this season, running a Personal Best of 20.85s at the 3rd Golden League. He has also gone under 21s three times and will be hoping to run faster when he clashes with Oduduru who has a PB of 20.13s.
Also in the mix will be 3rd place finisher at the CWG trials, Uruemu Idjesa who made a comeback with 10.38s after over two years of silence. Jeremiah Jakpa who is in the best shape of his life, running a 10.31s in the heat at the MoC Grand Prix before dipping with Arowolo in a wind-aided 10.25s in the final will be hoping on improving his time when he lines up with the more experienced field on Monday, 9th July 2018. Not forgetting Usheoitse Itsekiri who also has a wind-aided 10.36s from the MoC Grand Prix.
Who will wear the crown? Only time will tell!