African women’s 200m record holder Blessing Okagbare ran through her injury as she led the Nigerian women’s 4x100m relay team to gold at the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta State, on Friday.
The team retained the quartet that won bronze at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Joy Udo-Gabriel ran the first leg while Okagbare was in the second leg; Tobi Amusan ran the third leg and 2018 African Youth Games double gold medallist Rosemary Chukwuma was the anchor leg.
It was a straight battle between Nigeria and Ivory Coast for the title but the Nigerian women ran the race of their life to win the event in 43.77secs while Marie Josee Ta Lou anchored Ivory Coast to second in 44.40secs. Kenya beat South Africa to the third position – finishing in 45.58secs.
Also, Nigeria won another gold in the women’s long jump after Ese Brume defended her African title for the third consecutive time with a jump of 6.83m.
The 22-year-old won her first title in Marrakech in 2014 before defending it successfully in Durban in 2016. She thus becomes the first athlete in Africa – man or woman – to win three African Championships gold.
Burundi’s Marthe Koala was second in 6.54m while South Africa’s Lynique Beneke won bronze with a jump of 6.38m.
Nigeria won gold and silver in the women’s shot put as Chioma Onyekwere won gold with a throw of 58.09m while Chinwe Okoro won silver with a mark of 57.37m while South Africa’s Ischke Senekal won bronze with a throw of 53.37m.
The women’s relay team, Brume, Onyekwere and Okoro will represent Africa at the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in September. The gold and silver medallists in individual events and the gold medallists in relays represent the continent at the Continental Cup.
The men’s 4x100m relay quartet of Adeseye Ogunlewe, Divine Oduduru, Egwero Ogho-Oghene and Emmanuel Arowolo won silver in 38.74secs behind South Africa, who won gold in 38.35secs. Ivory Coast won bronze in 38.92secs.