Joy-Udo Gabriel and Raymond Ekevwo recorded the fastest times in the Women’s and Men’s 100m Heats on Monday for Nigeria as the country started on a blistering note in the athletics events of the 2019 African Games ongoing in Morocco.
While big guns like Blessing Okagbare and Marie-Josée Ta Lou were on parade and expectedly winning their respective Heat races, it was Udo-Gabriel that had the second-fastest time across the six Heat races returning a time of 11.46secs while Bass Gina from the Gambia had the overall fastest time of 11.38secs.
Ta Lou who is the defending champion for the 100m at the African Games won her Heat race with a time of 11.48secs while Okagbare who will be hoping to dethrone the Ivorian finished tops in her Heat Race with a time of 11.53s. It is an open secret that top athletes reserve their energies more for the semi-final and final races.
Alphonsus Aniekeme who is Nigeria’s third entrant in the Women’s 100m is also through to the semi-final having finished second in her race with a time of 11.67secs.
In the men’s category, Nigeria also had a perfect run as the country’s three entrants all pulled through to the semi-final
Adeseye Ogunlewe who was originally not entered for the 100m was brought in as a replacement for Divine Oduduru and the former national champion won his Heat race with a time of 10.36 seconds.
We gathered that Oduduru has been switched to run the 200m and 4x100m races having only arrived barely 24 hours before Monday’s race.
The Texas Tech undergraduate was in action at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday before heading to Rabat.
Usheoritse Itesekiri also breezed into the semi-final having won his race with a time of 10.27 secs while Raymond Ekevwo had the fastest time of the Heats; winning 10.20secs.
The semi-final races will be taking place later on Monday evening.
Earlier at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex in Rabat. Nigeria’s Osadolor Samuel finished second in the 100m race.
He would hope for improvement in the nine more events making up the Decathlon.
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