19th National Sports Festival Recap: Nine Festival Records Set in Athletics


Athletics was one of the key sports at the just concluded 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja, in which the sport highlighted some major upsets and sprung up some surprise champions.

While Athletics lived up to expectation on not only adding glamour and competitiveness from the athletes, it also produced perhaps the most Festival Records (FR) set at the Games.

Based on this, we’ve compiled a list of the FR’s that went down in Athletics in the specific events.


Representing Lagos State, Esther Isah was favourite for the High Jump Gold pre-tournament, having dominated the domestic scene for the past two years. But with the presence of former Commonwealth Champion, Ese Brume, it wasn’t certain if the Long Jump specialist could spring a surprise in the horizontal jumps.

However, the reigning National Champion made sure she got the needed victory on a record breaking note, scaling the height of 1.80m to set a new FR and surpassing the old mark of 1.75m.


As 2018 Africa’s fastest 110m hurdler, Oye Abejoye was just about winning and running a good time to close his outstanding breakout season.

The Rivers State athlete not only won and ran a good time, but his winning mark of 13.85s was a new FR erasing the old record of 14.00s, set by Deima Afiesimama at Benin 2002 sports festival.


A dominant win was an assurance for Commonwealth and African Champion, Tobi Amusan. Already with a brilliant 2018 season, Amusan came to Abuja to probably cap off her year or kick start her Doha 2019 preparation.

With no much threat in the line up, the World Indoor finalist stretched her wins this year clocking a new FR of 13.03s, thereby smashing Amaka Ogoegbunam’s mark of 13.54s set at the 2009 National Sports Festival in Kaduna.


Still waiting to don the colours of the country at a Global competition, Mike Edwards ensures he’s available at every opportunity to compete at any major competition in Nigeria.

The former British jumper ensured Delta State added another Gold medal to their tally, winning the High Jump Gold with a height of 2.15m, which equals Obiora Arinze’s Festival Record.


Another FR that was broken was in the men’s Shot Put with Commonwealth Silver medallist, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi throwing a distance of 20.36m to win the event.

This makes it the second Championship Record he has in his name this year, after his African Championship record set in Asaba.


Though she lost her Hammer Throw National Record at the African Championships in Asaba, Queen Obisesan bounced back to winning ways winning the event in a new FR of 64.96m.

Obisesan, surpassed Vivian Chukwuemeka’s 12-year-old record of 61.38m set at the Gateway Games in 2006.


As the best Triple Jumper in the continent, Grace Anigbata prove her African Championship Gold medal wasn’t a fluke by dominating the event in a new FR of 13.76m.

This erased Otonye Iworima’s former record of 13.60m recorded at the Gateway Games in 2006.

(Photo credit: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)


The Discus Throw isn’t one of the strong events Nigeria is known for, but Augustine Nwoye has given us something to savour about of a possible notion change in future.

Nwoye smashed the FR of 54.34m set by Chima Ugwu at the Gateway Games, replacing it with a new distance of 55.23m.


She was never a doubt for the win, being Nigeria’s front-runner in the event for the past four years.

The African Champion continued her dominance in the event with another record breaking win leaping to a distance of 6.62m, which is a new FR thereby breaking the 12-year record mark of 6.39m achieved by Chinedu Odozor.

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