Raymond Ekevwo clinches Gold, Itsekiri takes Bronze in men’s 100m at 12th African Games
It was a 1-3 finish for Team Nigeria in a keenly contested men’s 100m final which unfolded at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on Athletics Day 2 of the 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco.
Raymond Ekevwo nicked it on the finish line ahead Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse to clinch the title in a Lifetime Best time of 9.96s, with National Champion Usheoritse Itsekiri placing 3rd to pick Bronze.
It was Itsekiri who came out blocks first right after the blast of the whistle but he slightly dropped pace mid-race, allowing Cisse to take the lead momentarily. Ekevwo however turned up the heat on the Ivorian with about 10 metres to the finish line before making an emphatic dip to claim the win on the line.
Cisse had to settle for Silver in 2nd place having clocked a SB of 9.97s while Itsekiri came 3rd with a Personal Best of 10.02s.
Ekevwo now becomes only the 2nd Nigerian athlete – after Divine Oduduru – to dip below 10 seconds in the last 13 years, since Olusoji Fasuba clocked his still-existing African Record of 9.85s in 2006.
Notably, both Ekevwo and Itsekiri’s times meet up with the IAAF standards for qualification to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and that consequently means they are the 2nd & 3rd athletes respectively (behind Oduduru) to have secured eligibilty to don Nigeria’s colours in the 100m event at the Summer Games next year.