African Games: Four Nigerian sprinters breeze into 100m finals

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Nigerian athletes continued their impressive showing at the African Games, with a quartet of sprinters booking their places in the highly anticipated 100m finals on Monday.


Emmanuel Ekanem in the first men’s 100m semi-final was businesslike in his approach; storming to victory in 10.37 seconds to secure his spot in the final alongside Ghanaian runner Aggerh Barnabas (10.42 seconds).

The third semi-final was a tense affair, requiring multiple callbacks before Usheoritse Itsekiri was declared the winner.


Itsekiri displayed remarkable composure, clocking an impressive 10.29 seconds with a headwind of -2.1 m/s to automatically qualify for the final.

Like Nigeria, host Ghana also had two runners qualify for the 100m men’s final.

Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme with 10.23 seconds had the fastest time going into Tuesday’s final.

Camara Ebrahima (Gambia), Gilbert Hainuca (Namibia) and Bibi Gary Noa Jereel (Mauritius) are also in for the men’s final.

The women’s 100m also saw Nigerian success, with Olajide Olayinka and Justina Eyakpobeyan booking their spots in the final.

Olayinka displayed a powerful finishing kick, surging past Congo’s Natacha Akamabi in the final 20 meters to secure her place.

Eyakpobeyan, meanwhile, dominated her heat from start to finish, crossing the line in a time of 11.61 seconds.
Beyond 100m

Beyond the 100m, Nigeria continued to shine in other track events.

Wisdom Musa secured a spot in the men’s 110m hurdles final with a time of 14.35 seconds.

In the women’s 400m, Esther Elo Joseph stole the show. She ran the race of her life, setting a personal best (PB) of 51.81 seconds, the fastest time across all five heats.

This impressive feat marks her first time breaking the 52-second barrier, and she looked like she had even more in the tank.

Esther Okon also qualified for the women’s 400m semi-finals with a time of 53.17 seconds.

The men’s 400m saw Nigeria’s Chidi Okezie cruise to a relaxed season-opening time of 45.89 seconds, leading Dubem Nwachukwu (46.29 seconds) and Sikiru Adeyemi (46.72 seconds) into the semi-finals.

Team Nigeria athletes with these dominant performances, have sent a strong message to their competitors.
Tuesday’s finals promise to be exciting, with Nigerians expected to challenge for gold medals across multiple events.