New Telegraph

MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials: Ekanem, Olajide in 200m triumph, Francis tops in heptathlon

After his dismissal in the men’s 100m final of the MTN CHAMPS/AFN National Trials currently going on in Asaba, Delta State, due to a false start despite having the World Lead time of 10.10secs this season, Consider Ekanem, decided to put all his efforts in the 200m final and he was the athlete to beat as he won the race in 20.61secs. Ekanem came out hard in the heat, running a new Personal Best of 20.43secs (+1.1) – the overall fastest time across all heats. His time becomes the third fastest time clocked by a Nigerian man on home soil after Uchenna Emedolu recorded impressive times of 20.38secs and 20.42secs respectively en route to his goldwinning feat at the 2003 African Games in Abuja.

The last time a Nigerian athlete ran a 20.4 at home was when Divine Oduduru posted 20.47secs at the AFN Golden League in Sapele in 2016. Tega Odele had posted an identical time the previous year to win the National Championships in Warri. He, however, didn’t stop there, becoming the new National champion while Olayinka Olajide made it double after winning the women’s 200m in a new PB of 23.24secs to add to the gold she won in the 100m on the opening day of the competition.

Meanwhile, Africa Games silver medallist, Kemi Francis, commenced her Heptathlon season, building up to next month’s Games in Accra as after two days of intensive competition across seven events, Francis came out tops with a new Season’s Best of 5104 points.

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