Antwon Hicks sets new Nigerian record; Okagbare, Lindsey, Ibukun win on Day 1 of Nigerian Championships.  

The Township stadium in Sapele was brought alive as the All Nigeria national Championship which serve as the Olympics trials began yesterday.
Antwon Hicks, Photo credit :MOC

University of Mississippi graduate, Antwon Hicks won the men’s 110m hurdles and broke the national record in the process with a time of 13.27s smashing Williams Erese’s record of 13.42s set in 2003.

‘I feel great about it. I am relieved to get the Olympics standards which was my primary goal and my time today was just an icing on the cake.’
He continued, ‘I have been running 13.3s severally but they were just windy times, so they didn’t count. So I kept training hard and I knew that it was going to come’

Alex Al-Ameen finished second with 13. 87s while Abejoye Oyeniyi came third with a personal best of 13.89s.

In the women’s 100m final, 6 time National champion, Blessing Okagbare reclaimed her title in a time of 11.02s. Peace Uko was second (11.37s) while defending champion, Gloria Asunmu finished third(11.38s).

Blessing Okagbare , Photo credit : MOC

Lindsay Weyinme easily won the women’s 100m hurdles in a season’s best of 13.15s ahead of Grace Ayemoba(13.84s) while Efe Favour came 3rd (13.97s)

Philomena Ihekandu outran the rest of the field as she won the 800m in a personal best of 2:06.58s while the men’s event was won by Soudi Hamajam in a season’s best of 1:49.89s.

Nwanneka Okwelogu who has had a good season this year, won the women’s Discuss with a distance of 52.97m.

In the men’s Long Jump, Blessing Oluwayemi was the surprise winner as he beat more experienced athlete, Anota Oluwashola to second place. Oluwayemi won the event with a leap of 7.54m while Anota leaped 7.47m. African Junior silver medalist, Theddus Okpara finished third with 7.43m.

In the women’s triple jump event, Blessing Ibukun won the national title in a distance of 13.1m. Junior champ, Uche brown was second (12.8m)

5000m women race was won by Deborah Pam in a time of 17:23.45s. Her husband, Emmanuel Gyang won the men’s event in a time of 14:52.71s.

In the 100m men’s heat. Egwero Ogho-Oghene raced to victory in heat 2 to emerge with the fastest time in the event. Following closely is Divine Oduduru who ran a personal best of 10.23s to win heat 1. Edwards Rae ran a 10.40s while Seye Ogunlewe ran 10.44s to win his heat.

Paul Dedevwo ran a fast time of 45.49s to win his 400m heat. Florida’s freshman, Adekunle Fasasi won his heat with a time of 46.07s while defending Champion, Chidi Okezie won his heat with a time of 46.74s.
‘I feel pretty good, the game plan was to get out hard, relax and have a strong finish and I executed my race as planned’ said Chidi.
About the final, he said ‘Tomorrow, expect a great race between me and other Nigerian 400m runners and everything is just about tomorrow’
His thoughts on the Olympics ‘I am really motivated and waiting for tomorrow to have a great race and qualify for the Olympics’

Fastest quartermile female athlete this year, Patience Okon easily raced to a season’s best of 51.33s while Omotosho Omolara was second. Regina George won her heat with 52.23s.

UTEP graduate, Blessing Mayungbe who surprisingly made the final had this to say ‘I am very very excited and what makes this finals so special is that, in 2012 didn’t make the finals and this time did. It makes me feel that all my hard work and all I have been through this season really worth it’

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