Ogho-Oghene Egwero won Thursday’s top race with victory in the men’s 100m in 10.18 secs on day-two of the CRS/All Nigeria Athletics Championships in Calabar, Cross-Rivers State.
The day produced some heart-warming results and some upsets as the battle to make Team Nigeria to the World Championships in Moscow Russia gets more intense.
Egwero lived up to expectation as the championship favourite to regain the 100m title he lost to Obinna Metu in Calabar last year, leaving no one in doubt having posted the fastest times in the rounds leading to final race. He also achieved the qualifying standard for the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, with a time of 10.16 secs in Warri CAA Grand Prix last week.
Seye Ogunlewe of Delta state came second in 10.40 secs while Jonathan Nmaju of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps finished third in 10.42 secs.
Egwero who was toppled from the number one position at about this time last year said it was good to be back as the number one.
In other races also decided on Thursday, Regina George lowered her personal best time in the 400m to 50.99 to claim first position in the Women’s event.
Patience Okon and Omotosho Omolara finished second and third respectively; with the former recording a time of 51.87 secs while the later posted a time of 52.00 secs.
Speaking with AthleticsAfrica.com after her winning race, Regina said she has indeed made appreciable improvement since competing at the Olympics and would be looking towards lowering her time the more.
“The experience I gained at the Olympics last year was invaluable and it helped in my preparation as well as my collegiate races,” said Regina.
“I am very happy with my time and the fact that finally I have been able to run inside 50 seconds. It was a good race and this track is very fast. It is my goal to win a medal at the World Championships.”
Akwu upsets Onakoya
The men’s 400m event also recorded a thrilling finish as the first three athletes recorded new personal best times to give Nigeria some hope for a medal in the 4x400m relay event at the World Championships in Moscow.
Noah Akwu won the race in a time of 45.59 secs while Onakoya Abiola, the top favourite for the race, settled for second spot with 45.79 seconds and Isah Salihu finished third in 46.19 seconds.
Also in the women’s 110m hurdles, Ugonna Udu won her first national title in her maiden appearance as she breasted the tape in a time 13.47 secs.
She was followed by Amaka Ogoegbunam who finished second in a time of 13.61 while Cross-River state’s Bridget Ekongolo (14.11) and Ghanaian guest Rosina Amenebede (14.13) were third and fourth respectively.
Selim Nurudeen continued his winning streak in the men’s 110m hurdles from Warri Grand Prix taking the race in a time of 13.64 secs ahead of Martins Ogieriakhi of the Nigeria Police (13.95).
For the long distance races, in the Women’s 1,500m event Abiye David Joy won the women’s 1.500m with a time of 4:50.17 ahead of 5000m champion from Lagos state, Aminat Olowora (4:50.65) and Vivian Ichull ( 4:50.99).
Kefas Williams of the Nigeria Police secured the 5,000m title barely a day after winning the men’s 10,000m event, which happened to be the first gold medal of the championship clocking 14:52.30.
African and Commonwealth champion Tosin Oke maintained his dominance on the home front wining in a modest 16.64 (+0.2) metres ahead of Olumide Olamigoke, who jumped 16.16m (+0.3).
The 3-day Calabar championships ends today Friday with top relay races as wells the 200m events to be decided.