Picture: Maputo 2011: Nigerian Girls Grabs Sprint Relay, Hurdles GoldHeadlines, Sports, Track & Field Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Nigeria’s victorious female relay team (L-R) Okagbare, Osayomi and Osazuwa
Nigeria’s track and field team to the on-going 10th All Africa Games increased its gold medal haul to six Tuesday night after the men and women’s 4x100m relay teams and Seun Adigun fulfilled expectations by extending Nigeria’s impressive records in the event.
The women quartet of Gloria Asumnu, Damola Osayomi, Agnes Osazuwa and anchor, Blessing Okagbare ran 43.34 seconds to win the gold ahead of Ghana (44.33 seconds) and Cameroon (45.00 seconds) to set the ball rolling.
The win makes it nine out of the 10 gold medals offered so far in the history of the championships. The only time Nigeria failed to make it to the podium as champions was in 1973 in Lagos at the second edition of the Games when Ghana, led by the great Alice Anum, the 100m finalist at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich anchored them to gold.
Anum also successfully completed a sprints double at the Lagos Games, winning the 100m and 200m titles.
The men’s team of Benjamin Adukwu, Peter Emelieze, Obinna Metu and Ogho-Oghene Egwero emulated the women folk by also winning the men’s version. It was Nigeria’s sixth win in 10 appearances in the event.
In the 100m hurdles, Seun Adigun made it a 100% record for Nigeria by successfully defending the gold won by compatriot, Toyin Augustus four years ago in Algiers at the 9th edition of the Games.
Adigun ran 13.20 seconds to pick the gold ahead of another Nigerian, Jessica Ohanaj who ran 13.36. Nigeria has won every gold medal on offer since the event made its debut in 1973 in Lagos with Modupe Oshikoya winning the first of her three individual gold medals at the Games.
It was not all rosy for Nigeria, however, as the women’s 400m quartet of Bukola Abogunloko (53.08), Margaret Etim (53.15) and Omolara Omotosho (53.19) failed to make it to the podium as they finished 6th,7th and 8th respectively in an event newly minted world champion,Amantle Montsho of Botswana expectedly strolled to victory in 50.87 seconds with Senegal’s 2001 world champion, Amy Mbacke Thiam winning the silver in 51.77 seconds.
Tobi Ogunmola, however, ensured it was not all gloom in the quarter-mile as he picked the silver medal in the men’s version with a 45.82 seconds performance while his compatriot, Godday James finished a disappointing fifth (46.58 seconds)
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