Okagbare reclaims 100m title at 2016 All-Nigeria Championships


Blessing Okagbare returned after a year’s absence to the reclaim the women’s 100m title with a season’s best 11.02 seconds on day 1 of the All-Nigeria Championships in Sapele, Delta State.

Blessing Okagbare, who missed the 2015 All-Nigeria Championships won by Gloria Asumnu in Warri,  cruised through her semi-final race for victory in 11.22 seconds.

Peace Ukoh edged defending champion Gloria Asumnu to the silver medal in 11.37 seconds with Asumnu settling for the bronze medal in 11.38 seconds.

Deborah Pam won the women’s 5,000m gold medal in 17:23.50 ahead of Aderonke Olumide (17.38.06) and Elizabeth Nuhu (17:44.20).

Emmanuel Gyang took the men’s 5,000m national title in a time of 14:52.75, followed by Stephen Joshua and Solomon Yilbam in second and third positions respectively.

Reigning African champion, Nwanneka Okwelogu took the national women’s Discus title with a best throw of 52.93 metres while Soudi Hamadjam won the men’s 800m in 1:49.80.

Philomena Ihekandu won the national women’s 800m title in 2:06.98 ahead of Aminat Alabi (2:10.66) and Linda Friday (2:11.05).

Hicks smashes national record in Sapele

American-born Antwon Hicks broke the 13-year-old ‪Nigerian record‬ in the men’s 110m Hurdles, powering home in 13.27 seconds to erase the 13.42 seconds mark set by Williams Erese in Italy in 2003.

2014 African championships silver medallist Alex Al-Ameen came second in 13.87 seconds while Oyeniyi Abejoye finished third in 13.89 seconds.

“All year, I have been beating it (Olympic standard) but it didn’t count because the results have been windy,” said Hicks after finally hitting the Olympics standard that qualifies him for Rio 2016.

“This was one of my last races to get it done and I am happy I have done just that and also set a new national record. I’m pretty sure this time will be among the top 20 times in the world at the moment.”

Another American import, Lindsay Lindley won the women’s 100m hurdles final in 13.16 seconds ahead of Grace Ayemobah (13.84) and Efe Favour (13.97).

The 2016 All-Nigeria Championships also doubles as the Olympics Trial for selecting the Nigerian athletics team to the Rio 2016 Olympics.