Team Nigeria ended their campaign on a blistering note at the 21st Senior Athletics Championships, winning three Gold medals on the final day of action at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State.
The last set of Gold medals for Nigeria came in the women’s Triple Jump, women’s 400m Hurdles and the women’s 4x400m Relay.
Grace Anigbata was the star for Nigeria in the Triple Jump, as she defeated more experienced competitors to give the country the win, on her first international outing.
In the 400m Hurdles, Glory Nathaniel outclassed the field to win her first individual senior title and medal, clocking 55.45s, far ahead of pre-championship favourite Wenda Nel of South Africa, who settled for the Bronze medal.
The women’s 4x400m comprising of Patience Okon-George, Abike Egbeniyi, Folasade Abugan and Yinka Ajayi, stunned the crowd to take title in 3:31.14, with Kenya taking the Silver medal.
In the men’s 200m, Divine Oduduru made it a Silver lining for the host country, clocking 20.60s to finish 2nd behind Titi Ncincilili of South Africa, who won in 20.46s with compatriot, Luxolo Adams sealing the 3rd spot also in 20.60s.
Two more Bronze medals went the way of the country, in the men’s Javelin Throw from Kufre Adams, and men’s 4x400m comprising of Orukpe Erayokan, Rilwan Alowonle, Isah Salihu and Chidi Okezie.
At the end of the Championships, Nigeria finished third overall on the medals table with 9 Gold, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze medals, the same position at the country occupied at the last edition in Durban 2016.
Team Kenya were the overall Champions in Asaba, as the East Africans finished strongly on the final day; ending the Championship with 11 Gold, 6 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
South Africa who led for most of the five-day event settled for second place with 9 Gold, 13 Silver and 8 Bronze medals. Morocco and Ethiopia complete the list of the top five teams.
Meanwhile, for the first time in the history of the African championships, athletes from Nigeria and other African countries will not just go home with their medals, but with monetary reward.
The Local Organizing Committee of the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, on Sunday revealed prize money for athletes who won medals in Asaba.
Speaking in Asaba, LOC Chairman Solomon Ogba, announced that athletes who won Gold will get a cash prize of $3000 each. Ogba added that Silver medallists will be rewarded with $2000, while Bronze medallists will smile home with $1000.
Over 120 medals were won at the 2018 African Championship, tagged Asaba 2018, with the next edition of the Championship taking place in Algeria.