The Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna witnessed the opening day of the 2019 National Athletics Championships on Thursday with several athletes getting underway their campaign for national honours in their respective events.
Speedsters Enoch Adegoke and Usheoritse Itsekiri were some of the few athletes that turned on the style on the day as the duo delivered classy semi-final performances to seal a spot in Friday’s men 100m final.
Adegoke clocked the fastest time of all the semi-final heats – an impressive 10.14s – after being allowed to walkover the heats which took place earlier in the day.
Itsekiri meanwhile first made light work of his heat which he won with a time of 10.36s – in what proved to be the fastest time in that round. The NSF Champion thereafter got the better of Seye Ogunlewe in his semis heat as he won with a time of 10.16s.
Interestingly, Rosemary Chukwuma and Joy Udo-Gabriel were the star performers in the women’s 100m category for the day.
Udo-Gabriel was a class apart from the rest of the field as she first won her heat with a Season’s Best of 11.49s – overall fastest for the round. She then got the ticket to the final in equally impressive fashion, stopping the clock at 11.51s in the third semis heat.
Chukwuma on the other hand, clocked 11.59s to win her heat before running the overall fastest time in the semis – 11.46s much later.
Adegoke & Itsekiri as well as Udo-Gabriel & Chukwuma will no doubt set up thrilling and fierce respective contests in the race for the men and women’s 100m titles on Friday.
Talking of titles, Princess Kara unsurprisingly clinched the women’s Discus Throw title having hit a mark of 49.18m.
Austin Nwoye meanwhile emerged champion in the men’s category with a result of 52.94m.
The men’s 10,000m final which took place much earlier in the day saw Adamu Shehu Muazu beat rival Emmanuel Gyang to the title with a time of 31.36.25.
In the Triple Jump, Oluwayemi Blessing carried the day in the men’s category having leapt 15.39m just as Blessing Ibrahim won the women’s event with a mark of 13.25m.