By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, Nigeria
Game Day 11, Monday August 26, 2019 proved to be the best day for Team Nigeria as far as accumulation of Gold medals is concerned at the African Games currently holding in Rabat, Morocco.
The Athletics event of the African Games got underway on Day 11, as Team Nigeria athletes in the event started to prove their superiority against their competitors.
Grace Anigbata, the African Championship champion in the Triple Jump, continued to dominate the discipline on the African soil after she added the African Games Gold to her haul. She soared to a distance of 13.76m to clinch the win.
Dotun Ogundeji announced himself to Africa with a class performance in the men’s Discus. The thrower reached a mark of 57.82m to win Silver for Nigeria in the event. Egypt’s Shehab Ahmed claimed victory with 59.29m.
National Champion in the 100m Usheoritse Itsekiri qualified with the fastest overall time in the second semis of the men’s 100m, racing to a time of 10.25. Raymond Ekevwo barely broke a sweat in Heat three of the semis, stopping the clock in 10.26s. Seye Ogunlewe clocked 10.45 to place 4 in Heat 1 of his semis.
Olympic Silver medalist Blessing Okagbare’s wait for an individual Gold medal in the 100m at the African Games continued, as the sprinter got disqualified for a false start in Heat 1 of the women’s 100m semis. Marie Jose Ta Lou eventually won the race in 11.36s.
Also, African Championships Bronze medalist Joy Udo-Gabriel continued her meteoric rise to the top of athletics with a dominant display in Heat 3 of the semis, clocking 11.47s to qualify for the final.
Nigeria’s last representative in the women’s semi’s, Aniekeme Alphonsus placed 4 with a 11.82s clocking in her semis, as she also qualified for the finals.
The final of both men and women’s 100m comes up on August 27 .
Chidi Okezie’s debut at the African Games started on a bright note, as the quarter miler won his Heat in 46.65s. Orukpe Eraiyokan (46.94) and Emmanuel Ojeli (46.48) also qualified for the semis set to take place today (Tuesday, August 27, 2019).
In the women’s 400m, Africa U18 double champion Favour Ofili (52.20) ran the overall fastest time in the Heats to qualify for the semis, while the duo of Patience Okon-Geroge (53.55) and Amarachukwu Obi (55.24) also qualified from their Heats.
Nigeria’s only athlete in the 800m, Edose Ibadin qualified for the semis, finishing 3rd in his race with a time of 1:50.46.
In Decathlon, Samuel Osadolor finished 4th in the High Jump with a mark of 1.76m, and then 3rd in the 400m with a Season’s Best of 49.94s.
Elsewhere, Team Nigeria had a flurry of medals in weightlifting with Inemo Emmanuel Appah clinching all the Gold medals in the men’s 61kg (271kg), Snatch (120kg) & Clean-Jerk (151kg).
Also, in the Women’s 55kg Clean-Jerk Adenike Olarinoye lifted a total of 116Kg to win Gold, while Chika Amalaha claimed the Silver with a total lift of 115kg.
It was an all Nigerian final in the women’s doubles of Table Tennis as the duo of Cecilia Akpan and Edem Offiong defeated Funke Oshonaike and Fatimo Bello 3-2 (7-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-2, 13-11).
In the women’s Women’s 55kg Snatch, Amalaha pipped her compatriot to Gold with a total lift of 93kg, with Olarinoye settling for Silver, but she grabbed the Gold in the women’s 55kg (209kg), with the former taking Silver.
The Falconets qualified for the finals of the football event after defeating Algeria 3-0 in their semi final game.
Lastly, Rita Oghene settled for Silver in the Women’s -68kg Repechages in Karate after losing out to Cameroons Mando Blandine.
Nigeria ended the day with 33 medals (10 Gold, 11 Silver, 12 Bronze)
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