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Ogunlewe blames Asaba track for 100m failure, as South Africans dominate events

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Runners in the 800 metres heat at the on-going African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba…yesterday.

Nigeria’s hope of picking a medal in the men’s 100m at the ongoing Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships was dashed yesterday, as sprinter, Seye Ogunlewe failed to live up to expectations.

Two South African athletes, Akani Simbine and Simon Magakwe won the gold and bronze medals in 10.25 seconds and 10.35 seconds respectively, while Gueu Arthur Cisse of Cote d’Ivoire got the silver in 10.33 seconds.
 
Ogunlewe, who finished in a disappointing fifth position (10.45secs), said the newly installed Asaba tartan track was responsible for his failure.

“The track was bumpy and it worked against me. Each time I tried to pick and move forward, the track slowed me down. I don’t know when Nigeria will get good facilities.”
 
In the women’s 100m final also decided yesterday, Cote d’Ivoire’s Lou Gonezie Marie TA ran 11.15 seconds to win the gold, while Janet Amponsah of Ghana (11.54 sec) was second. Nigeria’s Udo-Gabriel Joy ran 11.58 sec to pick the bronze.
 
Nigeria got two gold medals yesterday in the women’s 100m hurdles, where Oluwatobiloba Amusan ran 12.86 seconds ahead of Rikennete Steenkamp of South Africa, who ran 13.18 seconds. Rosvitha Okou of Cote d’Ivoire ran 13.39sec to settle for third.

Chukwebuka Enekwachi won a second gold medal for Nigeria in the men’s Shot Put event, with a throw of 21.08m, ahead of Mohammed Khalifa of Egypt, who threw 19.33m, just as Kyle Blignaut of South Africa threw 19.05m to settle for bronze.
 
In the final of the women’s Hammer Throw, two Nigerians, Ogunrinde Temilola and Obisesan Queen finished in the second and fifth positions respectively.

While Temilola threw 67.38 meters to pick silver, Obisesa could only throw 63.02 to finish fifth in the event won by Zakour Soukaina of Morocco.
 
With the high-quality performance being churned out by Africa’s best legs in Asaba, it was not surprising that the IAAF President, Sebastian Coe expressed delight at being in Delta State for the African Championships.

The IAAF boss said yesterday he will be working towards getting more support for African countries even when they are organizing their regional meets.

The IAAF President said: “I am not just here just for the ceremony, I brought a big team with me from our headquarters to understand the challenges countries face in delivering athletics events like this even at the regional level.

“My team is also here to look to address and observe to see how they can be more helpful in the delivering more opportunities.”

On his part, the LOC Chairman for CAA Asaba 2018, Solomon Ogba apologized for all the shortcomings and also addressed the overblown reports about athletics sleeping at the Lagos Airport before making it to Asaba.


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