Winners have emerged in the 2019 Nigerian Athletics Championships held in Kaduna.
The duo of Usheoritse Itsekiri and Joy Udo-Gabriel emerged tops in the men and women 100 meters races respectively in the championship doubling as the National Trials for the African Games billed for Morocco in August.
Itsekiri, with a time of 10.23 seconds, won the men’s 100 meters race while Joy Udo-Gabriel claimed her first senior National title; winning the women’s 100 meters final with a time of 11.58 seconds.
Itsekiri came to the championship in Kaduna with the fastest time of 10.07 seconds, which he set earlier in the season to qualify for the World Championships in Doha.
Though he could not produce the best of races, his finish time of 10.23 seconds was good enough for the first position. Enoch Adegoke finished close 2nd with a time of 10.25 seconds.
Three-time national champion, Seye Ogunlewe, came in 3rd in 10.27 seconds.
For the women’s race, Udo-Gabriel was way ahead of her rivals with her winning time of 11.58 seconds.
Grace Nwokocha finished 2nd in 11.70 seconds while Rosemary Chukwuma placed 3rd in 11.74 seconds.
Itsekiri extended his dominance to the 200 meters where he won the final with a time of 20.97 seconds.
Favour Ofili ran the fastest time across in the women’s 200 meters finals, beating Amarachukwu Obi to win Heat 2 with a time of 23.35 seconds. Udo-Gabriel was second fastest overall, winning Heat 4 with a Season’s Best (SB) of 24.08 seconds.
Emmanuel Ojeli was the winner of the men’s 400 meters title with a time of 45.93 seconds. Orukpe Eraiyokan with a time of 46.35 seconds came 2nd as Shedrack Akpeki ran a PB of 46.54 seconds to place 3rd.
Patience Okon-George led from start to finish to win the women’s 400 meters, thus claiming her fourth National title in the process.
She inspired Ofili to a new PB of 51.90 seconds in 2nd place as Amarachukwu Obi also set a PB of 52.03 seconds to settle for 3rd place.
In the men’s 800 meters final, Adebisi Sodiq won the race with a time of 1:51.91s.
In the women’s final, Comfort James won her first 800 meters National title, racing to victory in a time of 2:15.03.
Martins Ogieriakhi upstaged Nigerian leader, Abejoye Oyeniyi, in the men’s 110 meters Hurdles final, winning with a Seasons Best time of 14.02 seconds.
It was a similar development in the women’s 100 meters Hurdles where Kemi Francis sailed past Grace Ayemoba to win in a time of 14.02 seconds.
The men’s 400 meters Hurdles final was tactically won by Timothy Emoghene with a new PB of 50.45 seconds, thus qualifying for next month’s African Games in Morocco.
Henry Okorie ran a SB of 50.59 seconds to finish 2nd and Destiny Oyedele 3rd in 50.91 seconds.
Nigeria’s long-distance running couple, Emmanuel Gyang and Deborah Pam, dominated the 5,000 meters, with the husband winning the men’s category in 14:54.71 while the wife won in the women’s race in 17:14.41.
Field events – 2019 Nigerian Athletics Championships
Best Erhire continued his upward swing to emerge as the new National Champion, in men’s High Jump.
He won with a new PB of 2.12 meters, which also secures his qualification for the African Games.
Esther Isah won the women’s High Jump event as she crossed over the 1.81 meters mark. Teammate Temitope Adeshina was ecstatic after jumping a new PB of 1.80 meters on her third attempt in the women’s High Jump. Adeshina last month jumped a then PB of 1.75 meters in Abuja.
In the men’s Long Jump, Joseph Edafiadhe leapt to victory in the event, winning with a mark of 7.54 meters. In the women’s event, Precious Okoronkwo left it till her last jump to snatch the victory, winning with a leap of 6.05 meters.
Queen Obisesan won the National title in women’s Hammer, snatching the win with a throw of 65.19 meters.