Nigeriaâ€™s fastest man Obinna Metu yesterday made history in the NNPC/Mobil Track and Field Championships when he took the menâ€™s 200m after winning the 100m Friday as Ajoke Odumosu highlighted the last day of the championships with a new national record in the 400m hurdles inside the mainbowl of the National stadium in Abuja.
Metu, an ambassador of security firm G4S, ran 20.59 to beat his rivals while Halimat Ismaila took the female 200m title with 23.38. With this victory, Metu became the first man in championships history to successfully complete a back-to-back sprints double while forÂ Ismaila, it was her first individual title at the championships.
Odumosu ran 54.80 seconds to break the 55.02 seconds national record she set last May in Ponce. Her time was however 900th of a second off the 54.71 seconds that would have qualified her for the N1m jackpot prize set aside for athletes who attain certain standards set by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN). The University of South Alabama graduate was however pushed all the way by Cyprus-based Amaka Ogoegbulam who also ran a new personal best of 55.88.
Odumosu has thus become the first Nigerian 400m runner to break the 54 seconds barrier and looks a sure bet for a final appearanceÂ in the event next month in Berlin at the 12th IAAF World Championships if she maintains the form.
In the 100m hurdles, Toyin Augustus successfully defended her title to become the second athlete after Angela Atiede to win the event thrice in succession. Her task was however made easier by University of Houston Kinesiology graduate, Seun Adigun who hit the third hurdle and fell as well as another USA-based athlete, Jessica Ohanaja who struggled with a hamstring injury.
Long jumper, Stanley Gbagbeke lived up to billing as the numero uno in the event with a leap of 7.92 to win the event. The University of Middle Tennessee undergraduate student however failed to fulfil expectations of those expecting him to become the third jumper to go above the 8 metre mark after George Ogbeide and Obinna Eregbu did it in the early 1990s.
Gbagbeke had raised hopes of another 8m jump after his personal best setting 8.06m leap earned him the silver at penultimate Saturday’s CAA Super Grand Prix held in Abuja.
In the women’s triple jump, Nkiruika Domike won her second title in the event with a leap of 13.95m, a new personal best. She won her first title in 2006 with a leap of 13.86m, then a new national record.
Quarter-miler, Saul Weipopwa emerged the 400m champion for the fourth time at the championships with a new 46.01Â personal season’s best. He was the winner in 2003,2004 and 2007 while his training partner, Godday James ,the second man to have ducked inside 45 seconds at the championships failed to make the podium .USA-based Amaechi Morton came second in the race in 46.10, a new personal best while coach Tony Osheku’s athlete, Noah Akwu also ran a new 46.13 to place third.
In the women’s version, reigning IAAF World Junior queen, Folashade Abugan expectedly strolled to victory in 51.75 while University of Texas in El Paso’s Endurance Abinuwa ran a new personal best of 52.43 to come second. Policewoman, Josephine Ehigie was third in 52.86.