Lagos State plays host to AFN All Comers
The Athletics outdoor season began with The AFN organized All Comers competition held on Wednesday at The Sports Center of The Yaba College of Technology. It was intriguing as we saw twists in some races as new stars emerged especially in the Sprints and a bit drama occurred. Hmm… We are sure you would want to know
World junior hopeful, Anikeme Alphonsus ran a stunning time of 11.38secs to win the heat two of the Women 100m duly preceding to the final where she came 3rd behind Eko 2012 Champion, Peace Uko while Agnes Osazuwa won the race in 11.51secs.
Osazuwa in the Womens 100m
The Men’s 100m was a good race to watch, as the favorite on the start list was 2014 World Junior silver medalist Divine Oduduru who showed that he is truly an athlete to watch out for this season, winning the race with a 10.36secs. Abiola Soyemi was the surprise second place finisher.
Reacting after his race, former Junior champion Divine Oduduru who won the 100m and 200m event assured that the process of cutting down his running time has started and hopes to run 10.00secs before the Olympics.
100m Men’s Finals
The 100m women hurdles and 110m men’s hurdles was interesting as African Bronze Medalist, Martins Ogieriakhi proved to the crowd that Oyeniyi Abojoye of Lagos State wasn’t that much of a threat as he won the race with 14.10secs while Oye finished closely in 14.14secs and World Junior hopeful, Bashiru Abdullahi finished in third place(14.36).
The Women’s event was so exciting as we weren’t sure who was going to win. Efe Favor and Grace Ayemoba going head to head but Grace later sailed through making it clear in the final meters of the race that she is indeed a distinguished athlete leaving Favor who hit her leg on the final hurdle in third place(15.41) while Sarah Kadiri was second (15.30). Grace posted 14.06secs to win the race.
200m Women was a race to look forward to, as Isoken Igbinosun had the best time of 23.80secs to win the heat one. Overall second was Maria Thompson (24.30) and Cecila Francis (24.58) in third place. The Men stormed the track few minutes later and Divine Oduduru was again the man to beat as he won heat 1 in a time of 21.04secs. Others who won their heats included Abiola Soyemi, Peter Edwin, Tolwani Adebakin, Isah Salihu and Arowolo Emmanuel amongst others. It would be worthy to note that Aworolo ran a personal best of 21.5secs.
The 400m race had as many as 6 heats and some of the winners are Isah Salihu, Abdulrahman Afeez, and Japhet Samuel amongst others.
400m sensation Isah Salihu
The Women version was a fantastic race to watch as we watched Commonwealth Long Jumper, Ese Brume compete.
According to her coach, Kayode Yaya, the race was part of her programme for the year to attained full fitness. The athlete who was known for jumps (long and triple jump) and 100m surprised everyone present as she finished third in her heat. This didn’t go down well with The AFN boss, Evangelist Solomon Ogba as well as National Long Jump Record holder, Yusuf Alli who expressed their shock.
In the horizontal Jumps, Blessing Ibrahim won the triple jump in a comfortable 13.08m which is also her Season Best. Grace Anigbata was in second place in 12.81m as they were the only two that competed. The Men event was won by Bishop Biola (15.2m) while Blessings Oluwayemi was second in 14.9m while Team Ilorin was third (14.8m).
The female long jump saw Mercy Abire leap a 6.06m in her second jump to win the event. Oghenekome Okolosi came second in 5.98m while Ruth Usoro jumped 5.85m to come third. David Ejumeta won the Men Long Jump in 7.51m while Blessing and Spiff Michael were second and third with 7.19m and 7.15m respectively.
Ruth Usoros Jump
There were some emotional moments that day as some athletes who didn’t do as well as expected cried. One particular athlete cried for about 20 minutes before he could get himself. There were also a high number of disqualifications at the event especially in the 100m race.
A whooping total of 7 athletes were disqualified in the 100m, 2 female sprinters as well as 5 Male sprinters. The tension must have been mind-blowing!!
Even in the midst of all this drama, there were some athletes who didn’t run at all. Patience Okon and Noah Akwu were spotted at the meet but didn’t compete. A reliable source disclosed to ‘Athletic Heat’ that one reason they didn’t compete was because arrived Nigeria from the United States a few days ago and they were really tired and stressed out from the long trip. Though Patience was later seen training.
Star Athlete Patience Okon
Then they are some big names who we expected to see in the competition but were nowhere to be found. The likes of Tega Odele, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Nicholas Imphoramphe, and Praise Idamadudu just to mention a few. We hope to see them at the next AFN organized competition.
2015 Star athlete at this meet, Nkem Ezealah of blessed memory who stunned the track to win the Women’s 100m in 11.50secs was given a one minute silence to honor her. She died in a ghastly accident on Benin-Ore road. We pray that the Soul of the departed would Rest in Peace. Until her death, she was our dear Captain at Esteem Athletic Club under the tutelage of Coach Uruemu Adu.
As we promised in our first post to give you Nothing but the best…….