Rio Trials: Okagbare Wins Seventh Title  …As Antwon Hicks Sets New National Record | Independent Newspapers Limited
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  Rio Trials: Okagbare Wins Seventh Title  …As Antwon Hicks Sets New National Record

Posted: Jul 8, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Blessing Okagbare on Thursday claimed her 7th All Nigeria 100m title as she won the Women’s 100m event in 11.02secs in Day One of action at the ongoing All-Nigeria Championships in Sapele, Delta State.
Okagbare, who missed the 2015  All-Nigeria Championships in Warri left no one in doubt as she wrestled her title from last year’s winner Gloria Asumnu.
Friday’s feat by Okagbare is her season’s best and told journalists after her victory that she would not rest on her oars as she expects tougher contest in Rio.
“I am focused, I am not thinking of what others are doing,” Okagbare said.
Peace Ukoh placed second 11.37sec, while Asumnu finished third in 11.38secs.
Aside Okagbare, another headline performance on the opening day of the trials came from Antwon Hicks who set a new national record (subject to ratification by the AFN) in the 110m Men’s Hurdles event.
Hicks’ winning time of 13.27 secs supersedes the previous record by Williams Erese time of 13.42secs set in the United States in 2003.
The winning time has also qualified the former American runner for the Rio Olympics where he will be donning the colours of Nigeria in Rio.
Speaking with journalists after his race, Hicks said he felt very relieved to now have the Olympic standard after a couple of unsuccessful attempts.
“All year, I have been beating it (the standard) but it didn’t count because the results have been windy, this was one of my last races to get it done and I am happy I have done just that and also set a new national record. Am pretty sure this time will be among the top 20 times in the world at the moment.”
On Friday, a keen contest is expected in men’s 100m where Divine Oduduru and Egwero Ogho-Oghene already whet the appetite of fans with their 10.23 wining times in their respective heats on Thursday.
Defending champion, Seyi ogunelwe also won his heat but with a slower time of 10.25secs
In some of the other events on Thursday, Deborah Pam NSDC won the 5,000m with a time of 17.23.50, Olumidi Aderonke and Nuhu Elizabeth placed 2nd and 3rd respectively with a time of 17.38.06 and 17.44.20 secs respectively
In the men’s version, Emmanuel Gyang won in a time of 14.52.75secs, while the duo of Stephen Joshua and Solomon Yilbam came 2nd and 3rd respectively.
In the Women’s Discuss, Nwanneka Okwelogu finished tops with her throw of 52.93M
In the women’s 800m final, Ihekandu Philomena was first with her time of 2.06.98secs while Lagos athlete Alabi Aminat was 2nd with a time of 2.10.66secs and Linda Friday came third posting a time of 2.11.05 secs.
Hamadjan Soudi claimed the top spot in the men’s 800m race; finishing with a time of 1.49.80secs
As widely expected, favourites for the 400m women’s event, George Patience Okon and Regina George won their heats and will be going head-on in Friday’s final.
The 2016 All-Nigeria Championships is serving as Olympic trial to be used in selecting Team Nigeria to the Rio Olympics.