D.K Olukoya Championships/All Comers to hold on April 10th in PH

Port Harcourt, Rivers – There is so much controversy surrounding the D.K Olukoya Junior and Youth Championships and the AFN All Comers meet for elite athletes with many having mixed feelings about both competitions. 

In a press release made available to Athletic Heat by the AFN Technical Director Navy Comm. Omatseye Nesiama states that “The above championship earlier scheduled for 7th/8th April, 2017 has been postponed to Monday 10th April, 2017″. 

He continued “The postponement is due to the NUGA preliminaries taking place same period and venue with athletes and officials hugely tasked for both events”. 

There were speculations as to where and when the All Comers meet for elite athletes would take place, Navy. Comm. Nesiama said “It is pertinent to notify that the Technical Committee has approved that provision be made for some elite events to be featured in order to give opportunity for athletes to register performances as the season opens”. 

Note: The screening for the age-grade competition (D.K Olukoya Championship) will take place on Sunday, April 9th and the venue still remains the High Performance Center, University of Port Harcourt. 

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Arowolo, Ajayi shines at 3rd TAFCAN Meet

Yaba, Lagos- As the athletic season is fast  approaching, the Lagos Chapter of the Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria (TAFCAN) organized it’s 3rd athletic meet at the Yaba College of Technology on Friday March 31st, but this time the athletes competed in their specific events; 100m, 200m, 400m, Long Jump Women, Triple Jump Men amongst other events. 

Emmanuel Arowolo was the man to beat in the men’s 100m final as he blasted to victory in a time of 10.2s. Bamiyo Obute followed in second place with 10.4s while Peter Edwin finished third also in 10.4s. 

The Women’s event had 5 heats after which it was split into Junior and Senior categories for the final. Rashidat Lawal who had the fastest qualifying time of 11.8s bettered it in the final to 11.4s to take the victory. Goodnews Thomas was in secong wuth 12.2s while Perpetual Dikeocha finished in third in 12.3s. 

Blessing Ogundiran clinched the victory in the Women’s Junior event with a time of 11.5s. Anita Taviore in second (11.7s) while Glory Nyeke was third (12.0s). 

The Junior Men category was won by Peter Chukwu (10.7s). Chigozie Nweke and Emmanuel Ajibodu were second and third in 11.2s and 11.3s respectively. 

African Championship medalist, Ajayi Yinka won the Women’s Senior 400m race. Blessing Obarierhu won the Junior Women’s event in 57.8s. Glory Nyeke followed in 58.5s and Yewande Johnson was in third (60.8s). 

Experienced athlete, Nathniel Samson had the fastest time of 46.3s in the men’s 400m event to win his heat. Followed by Akindele Atanda who took heat 4 in 47.8s. Other winners  includes Sodiq Adebisi (49.7s) and Emmanuel Akpan (50.8s). 

Olanrewaju Fahd had the overall best time of 50.3s In the Men’s Junior event. Jeremiah Nathaniel followed in 50.4s to win heat 3 while Fatola Adedoyin’s 50.5s placed him in third position.

In the Junior 200m Women, Joy Udo-Gabriel and Ruth Usoro posted the same time of 24.9s to win heat 1 and 2 respectively. Ajayi Yinka once again dominated in the half lap race as she won the Women’s Senior category with 23.2s. Glory Nathaniel in second (23.6s) while Rashidat Lawal finished third in 23.9s. 

Arowolo proved that his time in the 100m was not a fluke as he had the fastest time in the men’s event with 21.0s. Samson Nathaniel was second in 21.3s while Peter Edwin was third (21.7s). 

Meanwhile the field athletes were also in action as Monsuru Ganyi won the Men’s Hammer throw in 47.38m. Egbeogbu Uzo second (44.65m) and Olawale Olatunji third (41.39m).

National Champion, Feyisayo Daramola won the Womens event in 50.88m while Cecilia Instance was in second (48.88m). 

Junior wonder, Isaac Odugbesan was unstoppable in the men’s Shot Put, throwing a distance of 17.03m. Olawale Olatunji in second (13.90m) and Ganiyu Monsuru in third (12.29m). 

Avajah Stephanie won the women’s event in 9.42m. Cecilia Inyang in second (7.88m) and Omoshola Blessing in third (7.20m). 

To the surprise of the spectators present, Isah Esther won the Women’s Long Jump event in 5.51m. Usoro Ruth was second in 5.41m while Onuora Obamuwagun was third in 5.06m. 

Ruth Usoro leaping in the Women’s Long Jump

Monday Godwin won the men’s Triple Jump with a mark of 13.84m. Dare Olufarati was second in 13.70s and Lebi Psalm was third in 13.62m. 

The relays were the highlight of the day as Team Eagle Sight won the 4x200m mixed relay in 1:33.1s. Team MoC was in second (1:35.2s) while Team Blessed finished third in 1:35.5s. 

The 4x200m mixed relay about to get under way.

Team Buka Tigers stole the victory in the men’s 4x400m with a time of 3:18.7s. Team Blessed (3:19.7s) and Team Eagle Sight (3:21.8s) finished second and third respectively.

Its a great assessment for the Junior athletes as they will be looking forward to D. K Olukoya Championships in Port Harcourt. Click here https://theathleticheat.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/confirmed-d-k-olukoya-set-to-hold-next-week/ to read more. 

Note: All times were hand timed. 

Photo Credit: MakingOfChamps.com

Confirmed: D.K Olukoya set to hold next week!

Port Harcourt, Rivers- The 2017 athletic season is set to get underway next week from the 7th to 8th April at the High Performance Center, Port Harcourt where the National Junior/Youth trails would be held ahead of the World Youth Championships, African Junior Championships and Commonwealth Youth Games.

Speaking to Navy Comm. Omatseye Nesiama he disclosed that those who have met the standard have been called to report to camp ahead of the trails. 

“We’re going to have D.k Olukoya about 7th and 8th of April. So we are working towards that and right now a few athletes have been called to camp. Those that have already met the standard and they are coming in today at the University of Port Harcourt High Performance Center”

According to him, the choice of the OlympicAfrica stadium in the heart of  Port Harcourt is so that the athletes can prepare adequately.

“We have to keenly select the team and put them in camp right there, so that they can prepare adequately for the competition that is ahead of them”
he said. 

 Junior Star athletes set to turn up at the trails are Raymond Ekevwo, Aniekeme Alphonsus, Praise Idamadudu, Joy Udo-Gabriel, Timothy Emoghene amogst others. 

How to #MakeChamps in Nigeria ahead of 2020 Olympics and beyond

Nigeria in recent years has derailed from her status as a force to reckon with in the world of athletics to a country that can’t even merge with her African counterparts and has since lost the title of being the power house of African Athletics to South Africa who now have some if the fastest athletes in the world today. 

Since 1980, Nigeria has never returned from an Olympic Game without a single medal in athletics but everything changed in 2012 when all hopes were on one athlete; Blessing Okagbare. Though she ran a then Personal Best of 10.92s in the 100m semifinal but that wasn’t enough for her to medal as she finished 8th in a race won by Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser in a time of 10.75s. 

Rio 2016 was even worse as Okagbare couldn’t get to the final of any individual event but she alongside Gloria Asunmu, Jennifer Madu and Agnes Osazuwa placed 8th in the 4x100m final. Ese Brume raised our hopes in the Women’s Long jump as she got into the final with one of the best jump in the qualifying stage but she remarkably finished 5th in the final. 

Blessing Okagbare after her 100m semifinal at London 2012

Now the time is set for everything to get back to normalise and for Nigeria to be restored atop in the World of Athletics. Nigeria’s no.1 sport media and management company, Making of Champions is on the verge to reignite the passion and bring back the lost glory for the imagination of all Nigerians for the sports! 

Despite the amount of money put into sports like football when it comes to Track and Field little or no attention is given towards it and that’s why Making of Champions fondly called MoC started a Track Club that would help lift Nigerian athletes out of poverty, protect them from manipulation and abuse and give them an education, at the same time training them to hopefully represent Nigeria at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and beyond.  

Since they began the club in 2016, 13 potential athletes have been recruited into the team and are being trained professionally by two Olympic medallists; Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu. 

MOC Athletes pose for a group photo

ARCO Group and Shell Nigeria have thrown their support by sponsoring 3 athletes but your help is greatly needed to ensure that all athletes are supported immensely! 
That’s why MoC has taken a step forward to launch a GoFundMe account for sports loving Nigerians home and abroad to support the project and grant scholarships to the athletes in the team to ensure all their needs both academically and sportswise are duly catered for. 

To be part of history and this great revolution, click this link http://bit.ly/MakeChamps to support and if you want to donate in naira, here’s the account details: Making of Champions GT Bank 0148644947 and when you do so also send a mail to management@makingofchamps.com so that your reward would be sent to you. 

You may be wondering who these athletes are, click this link http://www.makingofchamps.com/athletes-profiles/ to read about each athlete. 

At MoC they don’t just believe in athletes running fast but also getting an education. Let’s make it possible. The more the support, the more athletes that would be awarded.

MoC ‘s  Joy Udo-Gabriel coasting to victory at 2016 Top Sprinter competition

With your support, the highly potential athletes would be fully funded four years before the next Olympics and not just 4 months. Get involved!

Paul Dedewo storms to World Lead Time!

Nigeria’s  Quatermiler Paul Dedewo is really up to something this season as the US-based seasoned 400m athlete along with his teammates at Altis World-one of the best track club in the world- ran a World Lead Time of 3:01.02s in the 4x400m men’s relay at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Texas on Sunday, March 19th. 

Dontavius Wright was the lead off runner then he handed it over to Bralon Taplin who did a great job and passed the baton to Dedewo and Deon Lendore took it home for the team. 

Their time of 3:01.02s broke the 16-year old meet record of 3:03.20s. Dedewo ran a split of 45.7s while teammate Taplin (44.24s), Wright (45.6s) and Lendore (45.27s). 

Since the start of the season, Dedewo whose mum hails from Edo state has given Nigerian athletic buffs a reason to be hopeful when the season starts properly with the IAAF World Championships in London as the major target. 

He opened his season with the 400m indoor and he ran a then Personal Best of 46.33s, a week later at the Tune-Up Meet hosted by Nothern Arizona University he bettered his time to 45.73s to claim his second victory of the year. 

To show that those times were not a fluke,  Dedewo at the USA Indoor Championships on March 5th broke Kunle Fasasi’s two-month old National Record of 33.09s in the 300m. 

Interestingly, he broke the record TWICE in less than 24 hours. He ran a time of 32.38s in the heat before shattering it again in the final with 31.92s to rank 3rd on the World All-time list. 

Ever since Dedewo moved over to Phoenix,  Arizona to train with Altis, he has been having a great time with his training and his performance.

“I’m happy to announce for the first time on 8 years I’ve been training injury-free… If Track AND Field is a team sport, I’m nothing without my team: @CoachKTyler, @AltisWorld, @JerodCarnahan_lmt,  @Iordan.krouchev, Rick Wade and my training partners” Quoted from his Instagram post.

Keep it up Dedewo! The world is waiting for you to be part of the change that would put Nigerian athletics back on the World raider.

Doreen Amata, Loveth Odia triumph at Yellow Jacket Invitational

ATLANTA, Ga. – It’s always a good thing when you start the season with a win or a Top 3 finish. It’s brings postive vibes that takes you through the season. 

At the 1st Annual Yellow Jacket Invitational hosted by Georgia Tech on Friday, March 19th there were many great performances from athletes who were present. With some running World Lead time, Personal Best’s and for many others it was a Season Best.

Nigerians were not left out on this as 7x National Champion, Doreen Amata who represented her sponsors, Adidas scaled a height of 1.81m to win the Women’s High Jump event. 

started the 2017 season at the Banska Bystrica Indoor High Jump meeting in February where she jumped 1.89m. You would recall that the World Championships finalist at this same meet last year scaled a  height of  1.93m to set a new National Indoor Record. 

Middle Tennesse’s Junior Loveth Odia who was very active during the Indoor season with a Personal Best of 53.88s to show for it, began the Outdoor season for the Blue Raiders on a somewhat good note, finishing 3rd in the 400m with a time of  54.64s behind Ransby Micaiah (54.56s) and Candace Hill (52.94s). 

Afon Ifeoluwa
, a Sophomore at Georgia State University finished 15th in the event with a time of 59.73s. 

In the 200m, Candace once again was in a world of her own as she stopped the clock in a World Lead time of 22.76s. Nigeria’s Jennifer Edobi of Vanderbilt finished just outside the medal zone in a time of 24.17s. 

On the men’s side, Middle Tennesse’s Junior Umoh Ifiok finished 7th in the men’s 200m event with a Season Best. Of 21.60s while teammate Adeniji Adedamola finished 14th overall with a time of 22.01s. 

Middle Tennesse’s squad. From left; Adeniji, Odia, Umoh and Okeze. 

Umoh went on to finish 8th in the 400m (47.91s), Adeniji placed 11th overall (48.05s) while Charles Okeze who is best known in the 100m and 200m decided to open his Outdoor season with the 400m and he finished 17th overall with a time of 50.25s. 

The relays were used to cap the great Season Opener with the Middle Tennesse men’s  4x400m team which included Nathan Mack, Trevor Sanders, Tahir Walsh and Adeniji place 4th with a time of 3:18.27s. 

The Blue Raiders will be back to the track next weekend at the Raleigh Relays hosted by North Caroline State. 

Nkem Ezealah: One year remembrance

It was a tragic moment when the news broke out that one of Nigeria’s most promising sprinter Nkem Martha Ezealah passed on to glory on the 15th of March, 2016 after a ghastly accident on Benin-Ore road while on her way to the village in the South Eastern part of the country  with her mum who gave up the ghost after the doctors tried to revive her back to life.

It was a  rude shock to many athletes as there was much wailing at the High Performance Center in Port Harcourt where the national athletes were camped. Commonwealth Champion Ese Brume who spoke to New Telegraph after she heard the news said, 

“This was someone I stayed with anytime I travelled to Lagos, I am yet to believe she is gone.” She said. “We were very close as athletes and I don’t know how it will be when next I am in Lagos. It will be so odd not to see her again. Rest in Peace my sister”. 

Nkem’s last athletic meet was the AFN Over Distance in Port Harcourt, Rivers state where she competed in the 300m and 150m events running a time of 40.79s and 18.68s respectively. 

According to her coach, Uruemu Adu of Esteem Athletics Club concerning the plans he had with Nkem ahead of the 2016 season. He said the main goal was the Olympics. 

Our key issue was the Olympics. I wanted her to be there because I am not an Olympian  though I have trained Olympians and I also wanted to be part of her history too. We were hoping on her to run a 11.03s and also hold her own in the IAAF Diamond Leagues and she was working very hard  towards it but unfortunately what happened had to happen for a reason best known to God.”

Answering the question of “What vaccum she created” he paused and said with an emotional voice,

“Lots of vaccum have been created by her. She was a great athlete in a unique way and apart from being a sprinter, she was a captain and a motivator. The vaccum is still there. No one can be like her. Nkem is Nkem!”

Even with all the pain filled in his heart, Coach Adu said “Somewhere along the line one has to move on in whatever way he or she can. She’s somebody one cannot forget in a hurry. It’s very painful though but one has to move on.”

The ever smiling Nkem with Coach Adu.

For her teammate at Esteem Athletics Club, Kingsley Okelu he feels sad and empty. 

“I feel sad and empty. There is this vaccum that has been empty since she passed away. She was a motivator,  a sister, friend, training partner, a mentor to different individuals  and collectively as a team. She’s a very unique person and also irreplaceable as far as I’m concerned. I miss her and I pray her gentle soul rests in perfect peace.”
He said. 

Nkem Ezealah and members of Esteem Athletics Club.

Another teammate, Eferobor Oghenetejiri poured out her heart when asked how the last one year has been without late Nkem. 

“Ever since she passed on, things has not really taken shape with me because she was now becoming a bestie,  we talk sometime till  midnight, we advice each other. I remember her telling me,”Aunty Oghene don’t worry we will be in the same room at Abuja Golden League so that we can encourage ourselves to run well.” 

She continued, “We train together all the while, she really wanted to see me run well again but the cold hands of death snatched her away but I thank God”. 
The 100m hurdles specialist ended by saying “I really do miss her very much but what can I  say. I love her. RIP Nkem Martha”. 


Tejiri (lane 3) and Nkem (lane 2) during a training session

Even before delving into athletics in 2012, she was a star footballer who represented Nigeria at the 2010 Football for Hope Festival an official programme of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa where she displayed many amazing skills. 

Her journey into athletics began in 2012 when the Tertiary Games trails was held at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos where she studied. Nkem decided to tryout in the 100m and suprisingly she won the 100m without any experience on the track and that caught the attention of Coach Adu. 

Ever since then, Nkem never looked back as she became a force to reckon with in the Women’s 100m. Just one year of professional training with her new coach, Uruemu Adu she represented Nigeria at the 2013 African Junior Championships in Mauritus where she finished 5th in the 100m and she was a member of Nigeria’s 4x100m team that won the Gold at the competition. 

During the 2015 season she was one of the best female sprinter on the home front finishing Top 3 in the 100m at every AFN Golden League she attended including winning the Abuja leg of the competition with a Personal Best of 11.61s. Her fine form gave her the opportunity of competing with some of the best athletes in the world as she made her International debut at senior level at the IAAF Challenge Meeting in Dakar, Senegal where she placed 3rd in the 100m with (11.54/+2.1). She narrowly missed out of the All-African Games after she got injured in the 100m semifinal at the All Nigeria Championships in Warri, Delta state. 

Nkem Ezealah (far right) at 2015 All Nigeria Championships Warri

One month after her demise, the Track and Field Coaches Association of Nigeria (TAFCAN) held an athletic meet in memory of the late sprinter at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.  
That has led to the annual memorial competition in honour of Nkem which takes place in July after the All Nigeria Championships. 

Final words from Coach Adu “I miss her but I know her presence is still with us. The athletes are more motivated to do more and we’re also working towards her annual memorial meet which will be announced when all things are put in place. We all love her and we pray her gentle soul rest in peace.” 

Coach Deji Aliu and Mr Fred Agbaje at Nkem memorial meet

We at Athletic Heat miss her so much because we’ll trained with her before her demise and our most sincere prayer is that God will continue to comfort all those who are grieved by the loss. 

Adieu Nkem kem kem kem kem!!!