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Africa

African Games 2023: Usoro, Enekwechi Win Gold As Itshekiri, Olajide, Attain Podium Finish

todayMarch 20, 2024 5

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Team Nigeria’s Shot Putter Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Triple jumper Ruth Usoro on Tuesday won Nigeria’s gold medals in their various events at the ongoing 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana.

Usoro left it late until her very last jump, leaping from second to first place.

She needed to come big on her sixth jump, and she delivered, winning the event with a mark of 13.80m to land her first-ever African title.

The Nigerian became the third Nigerian after Rosa Collins (1995) and Grace Anigbata (2019) to win a triple jump gold at the Games.

Usoro, 26-year, 13.80m effort was enough to fetch her the gold and equal Collins’ altitude-aided winning mark, 29 years ago.

Usoro will now turn her attention to the long jump event which begins on Wednesday.

Also Read: African Games 2023: James, Itsekiri, Olajide Others In Athletics Final

She will now be seeking to become the first Nigerian woman to successfully complete a triple jump and long jump double in the history of the Games.

Victory for her will also mean she will become the second woman in Games history to win a triple jump and long jump gold at the same edition of the Games after Cameroon’s Joelle Mbumi Nkouindjin in 2015.

Chukwuebuka Enekwechi successfully defended his African Games shot put title, winning Nigeria’s first gold medal in athletics at this year’s games.

Enekwechi who holds both the national and African Games records launched a throw of 21.06 meters, proving too strong for his rivals, including his compatriot, Emeka Moses Ugwu who finished fifth with a mark of 16.43m.

He becomes the first Nigerian man to successfully defend a Shot Put title at the African Games.

The 31-year old however was unable to beat the 21.43m games record he set in 2019.

Meanwhile, Ewa Peace failed to make it to the podium in the women’s high jump as she could only clear 1.75m to place fourth in an event Ghana’s, Amoanimaa Rose cleared 1.90m to win.

Also, in the men’s 100m, Ushoritse Itshekiri upgraded from the bronze he won five years ago in Rabat 2019 to silver (10.23s), while Consider Ekanem was fourth in 10.42s.

The gold medal went to Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon who emerged Champion in 10.14s, as Namibia’s Gilbert Hainuca got bronze in 10.29s.

In the women’s 100m category, Olayinka Olajide settled for bronze with 11.55s in her first international outing for Nigeria.

Unlucky for compatriot Justina Eyakpobeyan who won’t be on the podium as she ran 11.60 to place fifth.

Team Nigeria went into the 100m final with a strong representation of four athletes; two each in both finals but that didn’t guarantee dominance on the podium.

Tobi Amusan won the women’s 100m hurdles Round 1 heat on Tuesday with a time of 13.03s.

Amusan has secured a spot in the semi finals of the women’s 100m hurdles.

Written by: Godstime Egelege-Idama

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