Ekevwo advances, Alowonle books 400mH Semis spot on Day 1 of World Athletics Champs

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African Games 100m Champion Raymond Ekevwo and 400m Hurdles specialist Rilwan Alowonle earned progress to the next round of their respective events in Day 1 of the World Athletics Championships ongoing in Doha, Qatar.

Ekevwo did well to place 2nd in Heat 3 of the men’s 100m with a time of 10.14s (-0.8) just behind Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes who took the win with 10.08s.

The Florida Gators star continued his impressive form this season as he improved on his decent start and put pressure on Hughes before settling for 2nd place to seal automatic qualification.

Meanwhile, Usheoritse Itsekiri could not make the most of his impressive start off the blocks in Heat 2 as he came 7th with 10.46s as Justin Gatlin pulled away for the win in 10.06s.

Divine Oduduru opted to not start in his own heat so as to concentrate squarely on the men’s 200m and 4x100m events.

Consequently, Ekevwo will be Team Nigeria’s sole representative in the men’s 100m semis on Saturday and he has been listed to face off against Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake and other elite athletes in Semi-finals 2.

In the same vein, Rilwan Alowonle will be the only athlete donning the Nigerian colours in the men’s 400m Hurdles on Saturday.

He fearlessly made a lightening start, leading a field that had Asian Champion Abderrahman Samba and American star TJ Holmes for the better part of the race before he was outpaced in the last few metres and settled for 4th place with 50.04s.

That was just about enough to earn him a ticket to the semis where he will now have with Samba and Rai Benjamin to contend with on Saturday.

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