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Upset recorded in women’s 400m as Ekanem makes 200m history in MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials

Upset recorded in women’s 400m as Ekanem makes 200m history in MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials

Day 2 of the ongoing MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials holding at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State, threw up an upset not many would have predicted.

The women’s 400m was one of the most anticipated races of the day and it lived up to expectations, albeit with an unlikely finish as Esther Joseph ran the race of her life to get to the line first to claim a big victory over some of the favourites in the race.

Joseph ran a big Personal Best (PB) of 52.00s, shaving off more than a second from her previous PB of 53.07s which she ran in the heats on Day 1, landing her biggest career win so far as she finished ahead of the highly experienced Patience Okon-George who had led the standings going into the final with her Season’s Best (SB) of 52.06s.

Esther Okon claimed the Silver medal with a PB as well as she posted 52.93s, while Uduak Udosoh settled for Bronze with 54.59s as Okon-George faded to 6th.

In the men’s race, Daniel Atinaya tried to stay with Sikiru Adewale but the latter made sure no one was going to catch him in the race, shaking off the challenge to emerge a clear winner with an SB of 46.26s. Atinaya finished 2nd in the race, also clocking an SB of 46.46s, with Samson Nathaniel finishing 3rd in 47.13s.

Queensly Asedo won the women’s 20km Race Walk with a PB of 2:06.33, and was followed by Faustian Oguh (2:13.46) and Judith Oghale (2:46:40) respectively.

Gbenga Fatoyinbo dominated the men’s 20km with a new lifetime best of 1:54.23 to finish ahead of Noah Isaiah (1:54:24) and Gabriel Sunday Martins (2:06.46).

The heats of the men’s and women’s 200m commenced on Day 2 and Consider Ekanem channelled the disappointment of his 100m disqualification by going out hard to run a new PB of 20.43s (+1.1) – the overall fastest time across all heats.

Ekanem’s time becomes the third fastest time clocked by a Nigerian man on home soil after Uchenna Emedolu recorded impressive times of 20.38s and 20.42s respectively enroute his GOLD-winning feat at the 2003 African Games in Abuja.

The last time a Nigerian athlete ran a 20.4 at home was when Divine Oduduru posted 20.47s at the AFN Golden League in Sapele in 2016. Tega Odele had posted an identical time the previous year to win the National Championships in Warri.

Samson Nathaniel was the fastest qualifier in the men’s 400m Hurdles where he is looking at continuing in his family’s tradition of competing in the event.

Nathaniel ran a new PB of 52.91s, accurately timing his run and speeding past Adebisi Sodiq (52.94s) to claim victory in Heat 2 of the 400m Hurdles. Gbenga Bakre was the third fastest qualifier with his PB of 53.00s.

The Cadet (U-14) and Youth (U-17) 100m finals were decided and Ejiro Peter of Osadenis Mixed School was the fastest Cadet girl with her time of 12.96s, finishing ahead of Ella Udumubrai (13.15s) and Karo Onisuru (13.26s) of Delta Secondary.

Adeniyi Owolabi of Government Model, Jude Goodluck and Akpati Chidi were the Top 3 finishers in the Boys’ race.

Perezide Sigah emerged the Youth Girls’ 100m Champion in 12.51s and was followed by Chiamaka Lucy Nwankwo (12.66s) and Azeezat Muhammed-Raji of Olivet Baptist who returned a time of 12.72s.

Salvation Isonguyo won the Youth Boys 100m GOLD with 11.37s. Gowon Oghenerunor (11.37s) and Oyewale Oluwadarasimi (11.40s) settled for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

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