Port Harcourt, Rivers – The 2017 Nigerian athletic season got underway yesterday, April 12th at the University of Port Harcourt sports centre where the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) organized the All Comers competition.
Atinaya Daniel of Delta State was one of the star athlete of the day as he led from start-to-finish stopping the clock in 47.29s to win his heat in the men’s 400m which was the fastest of all heats. Prior to the one lap race, he competed in the 100m qualifying round where he ran a time of 10.79s to take heat 3.
Shedrack Akpeki of Cross River had the second best-time winning his heat in 48.39s ahead of Prosper Ogbonna who posted a time of 48.51s to finish third overall.
Athlete to watch out for this season, Harry Chukwudike.
Harry Chukwudike of NSCDC thrilled the crowd in the men’s 100m winning in a time of 10.48s bettering his 10.72s in the heat. Favourite, Arowolo Emmanuel settled for second in 10.53s while Chukwudi Olisakwe was third in 10.58s. It’s worthy to note that Harry at Zone D preliminaries of NUGA stormed to a time of 9.9h in the 100m.
Delta’s Praise Idamadudu comfortably won the women’s 400m in a time of 54.51s. Tracy Idugboe was second in 57.82s while Comfort James finished third in 58.63s.
Women’s 100m final won Mercy Ntai-Obong (middle).
Mercy Ntia-Obong took the 100m women’s title in 11.70s. Lawal Rashidat followed in 11.81s while Adiakherewa Blessing was third in 12.00s.
There were only 20 sticks available for the hurdles and so two athletes competed in each heat of the men’s 110m/400m hurdles and the women’s 100m/400m hurdles.
Only two ladies competed in the women’s sprint hurdles which was won by Ayemoba Grace in 14.26s while Isa Esther of Eaglesight followed in 15.88s.
The men’s 110mh had about 6 heats and Ojiekere Precious had the best time of 14.06s. Abejoye Oyeniyi followed closely in 14.07s while Osadolor Samuel was third overall in 14.76s.
Abasiono Akpan had the fastest time of 63.96s in the women’s 400m hurdles. Delta’s Clifford Fego was second in 66.89s and Emmanuel Faith was third in 70.01s.
National Junior champion Emoghene Timothy comfortably won his heat with 53.78s to return the fastest time in the men’s event. Prior Ochonogor posted a time of 55.14s while Kufre Samuel was third in 55.92s.
In the 800m men, Akwa Ibom’s Eddiong Okon clocked a time of 2:00.82s to take the win. Faith Monday was second in 2:04.55s while Okpala Stanley was third in 2:06.86s.
Genesis Barnabas of Kids &Play won the men’s 3000m in 9:52.73s while Abasi-Ibianake Sunday won the women’s event in 11:00.42s.
Away from the track, Ogbukwo Eucharia won the women’s Shot Put with a distance of 14.62s. Aniefuna Anulieka was second in 12.60m while Michael Gift finished third in 12.35m.
Uniport’s Anulieka Aniefuna competing in the women’s shot put
Junior sensation, Princess Kara won the Women’s Discuss in 44.78m. Ugeh Kasie and Anulieka were second and tbits with 36.78m and 25.84m respectively.
Top 3 in the women’s Javelin were Francesca Chukwu (40.84m), Mercy Honesty (40.03m) and Ugeh Kasie (38.85m).
Olajide Abiola caught the attention of the crowd with his prolific jumps and it was no surprise when he won the men’s Triple Jump in 15.82m. Nzube Ihezue (15.44m) and Meyiwa Ine (15.16m) were second and third redpectively. Mercy Honesty won the women’s Triple Jump in 12.62m while Clifford Fego was second in 11.33m.
Lone star’s Oluwayemi Blessing took the victory in the men’s Long Jump with a leap of 7.26m. Okpara Theddus was second in 7.04m while David Kingston was third (7.04m).
Marian Thompson of Cross River jumped a mark of 5.90m to win the women’s event. Odiphri Victory followed in 5.64m and HIT’s Kome Okolosi was third (5.52m).
It’s a commendable performance from the athletes and it can only get better!
Photo Credit: MakingOfChampions