By Ben Efe
After almost 22 years, the Nigerian record in the men 110m hurdles was erased by American-born Antione Hicks, who now competes for Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympic trials at the Blessing Okagbre Stadium Sapele, subject to ratification by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria, AFN.
Hicks ran 13.27 seconds to break William Erese’s 1995 13.34 seconds. Hicks, a long standing athletics wannabe in the USA, also met the Olympic standard set by the AFN, but he acknowleged that the time he returned is like a speck of dust in the desert compared to the world leading time. He vowed to make more improvement.
“It was a good start for me. But I know that I would have to improve on that time if I want to make any impact at the Olympics,” said the athlete.
AFN technical director, Navy Commodore Omasteye Nesiama hinted that more of the long standing records will be broken in due course.
The women 100m was decided yesterday and Blessing Okagbare easily won the race. She coasted home to a season’s best of 11.02 seconds. Peace Uko was second with 11.37 seconds, while Gloria Asumnu was third with 11.38 seconds.
The men’s race to be decided today will be a three horse race. And it will be a delight to see if the trio of Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Divine Oduduru and Seyi Ogunlewe could break the 10 seconds barrier. In the semi-finals, Egwero and Odururu returned 10.23seconds in their respective semi-final heat, while Ogunlewe, who won the 2015 edition, clocked 10.26 seconds.