Team Nigeria athletes got their African Championships campaign on a bright note, by qualifying for the next rounds in their various events on Day 1 of the biennial Continental Championships.
Kick starting things for the host country was Joy Udo-Gabriel, who marked her second senior international debut for the country on a winning note by taking 100m Heat 3 in 11.64s, far ahead of Gambia’s Gina Bass with 11.74s, while Congo’s Ngoye Akamabi sealed the third automatic qualifying spot in 11.78s.
Egypt’s Basant Hemida, led from start to finish to win Heat 4 in 11.60s, ahead of Nigeria’s Mercy Ntia-Obong who had to overcome a poor start clocking 11.66s, while Ghana’s Halutie Hor was 3rd in 11.77s.
Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, initially listed prior to the Championships to compete wasn’t on the start list, having withdrawn with reasons unknown. She has also withdrawn out of the 200m event.
In the men’s category, all Team Nigeria’s representatives also qualified for the semi-finals with worthy positions.
Top on the list is three-time National Champion, Seye Ogunlewe who won his Heat in an entertaining style clocking 10.42s.
Former National Champion, Ogho-Oghene Egwero finished 3rd in Heat 1 in 10.52s, with defending Champion Ben Youssef Meite of Ivory Coast taking the win in 10.41s, slightly ahead of South Africa’s Simon Magakwe in 10.42s.
Meanwhile youngster and newly signed DAG Ambassador, Enoch Adegoke qualified as one of the fastest losers after finishing 4th in 10.64s. The heat was won by Commonwealth Champion, Akani Simbine in 10.30s ahead of Karim Riffayan who clocked 10.48s, while Mark Odihiambo was 3rd in 10.61s.
The semi-finals of both categories will take place today, August 2nd from 9am.