Three Athletes Contend For AFN N1.5m League Jackpot | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Three Athletes Contend For AFN N1.5m League Jackpot

Posted: Jul 16, 2015 at 1:22 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Uzor Odigbo  –  Lagos


Three home-based athletes have qualified for the N1.5 million Jackpot up for grabs in the 2015 Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League series, after extending their dominance in the three legs of the league events.

Ese Brume

Ese Brume

Top sprinter, Nicholas Imhoaperamhe was unrivalled in the men’s 100m, winning the event in Anambra (10.23s, PB), Abuja (10.36s) and Akure (10.38s), thus surpassing the qualifying mark of 10.40s set by the AFN. African 100m and 200m junior champion, Divine Oduduru, played second fiddle to the National Sports Festival (NSF) champion, coming 2nd in all three races with a time of 10.37s, 10.40s and 10.40s respectively.

Imhoapermahe said, “I feel great winning the race despite that I am not fit. I must confess that this last race wasn’t easy for me because I was running to meet the standard while trying to maintain my contention for the jackpot at the same time. I’m definitely confident that I will make the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships very soon.”

Tosin Adeloye was consistent in all three legs of the competition in the women’s 400m, setting PBs of 52.72s, 52.48s and 52.31s at each meeting. The standard set by the federation in the event was 53.81s, and the African junior champion had no qualms running faster than the mark. Rita Ossai (52.51s) and Funke Oladoye (52.96s) followed in 2nd and 3rd positions in Akure.

Last but certainly not the least of the trio who qualified for the Jackpot is Kure Adams Samuel who competes in the men’s Javelin throw. The Customs athlete went beyond the qualifying mark of 66.64m, recording 69.78m and 70.21m during his first two outings at the AFN Golden League.

One of the top contenders for the prize, Orukpe Erayokan missed out on securing his place among the winners after losing the men’s 400m race to Nathaniel Samson, much to the dismay of the home crowd.

The NSF gold medallist had led the pack for the greater part of the race but was edged out at the tape as Samson dipped at the finishing line, taking the race with a PB of 46.37s, while Erayokan, who clocked a PB of 46.13s in Abuja, followed in 46.40s; Noah Akwu placed third in 46.99s. Samson had finished 3rd in Anambra (47.81s), before taking the 2nd place in Abuja (46.49s) and then culminating with a victory in Akure.

Erayokan said: “As a champion you have to accept defeat sometimes; you don’t win every time. That’s the way it is. I didn’t know that Samson was going to dip at about the same time with me. I will be at the Warri Grand Prix and national trials and I’m expecting to run a better time; I’m hoping for a 45s, but it will happen this month.”

Samson, who represented Nigeria at the 2014 Youth Olympics and World Junior Championships was excited about his feat: “It just happened that I ran my PB; that’s the part that I’m happy about. I came here to do my best,” he said.

Isoken Igbinosun also won two of the three legs (Anambra and Akure) in the women’s 100m, but was denied a place among the contenders after finishing 2nd to rival, Nkem Ezealah, in the Abuja. The event in Akure was full of drama as both Justina Sule, and then Deborah Odeyemi beat the gun, leading to their disqualification.

Meanwhile, African and Commonwealth Games Long Jump champion, Ese Brume, made a return after deciding to pass on the Abuja leg of the competition. The Nigerian champion needed only one jump to qualify for the forthcoming World Championships in Beijing, recording a distance of 6.61m in her very first leap of the competition. She finished ahead of Abuja winner, Euphemia Edem (6.20m) and Blessing Ibrahim (6.17m).

Ibrahim won the women’s Triple Jump with a Season’s Best (SB) of 13.65m as Hope Idhe (12.74m) and Ajijo Ohadugha (12.30m) placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. Martins Ogierakhi, who won an African Championships Bronze medal in the 110 Hurdles, clocked 14.36s. Bashiru Abdullahi (14.45s) and Samuel Okon (14.49s) completed the Top 3 at the event.