Nigeria is up to fourth on the medals table after the country’s athletes embarked on a medals blitz amassing 16 medals (10 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze) to take Team Nigeria’s total to 49 medals at the close of competition on Tuesday, 27 August.
Team Nigeria achieved a 1-3 finish in the men’s 100m as Raymond Ekevwo set a personal best of 9.96secs to become the first Nigerian to win the event since Africa’s fastest man Olusoji Fasuba achieved the feat in 2007 in Algiers.
His teammate, National Champion Usheoritse Itsekiri was third in 10.03secs behind Arthur Cisse of the Ivory Coast who took silver with a time of 9.97secs.
In the women’s final, Joy Udo-Gabriel finished fourth in 11.44secs to miss out on a place on the podium as defending champion Marie Josee Ta Lou took gold in 11.09secs. Gambia’s Gina Bass breasted the tape in 11.13secs to win Silver while Egypt’s Basant Hemida took Bronze in 11.31secs. Nigeria’s other representative in the women’s 100m final Aniekeme Alphonsus finished in last place in 11.78secs.
There was also silver for Nigeria in the men’s 110m hurdles after Abejoye Oyeniyi clocked home at 13.90secs behind race winner Algeria’s Amine Bouanani who won with a time of 13.60secs.
Chukwuebuka Enekwechi set a new African Games record of 21.48m to win gold in the Shot Put but Dotun Ogundeji’s throw of 20.04 could only earn him a fourth-place finish in the same event.
In the women’s Hammer Throw, Temilola Ogunrinde bagged silver for her 64.56m mark, while teammate Adetola Olatoye took bronze with a throw of 63.97m. Queen Obisesan finished in fifth-place having thrown 61.82m.
Nigeria’s superiority in the Weightlifting event continued unhindered as Rafiatu Lawal was left shining like a million stars after winning three gold medals in the women’s 59kg (210kg), Clean-Jerk (117kg) and Snatch (93kg).
Not to be outdone, Joy Eze also bagged three gold medals in the women’s 64kg (218kg), Clean-Jerk (121kg) and Snatch (97kg).
There were to be no medals in the women’s High Jump as Esther Isah and Doreen Amata could clear a height of 1.78m, to finish in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Nigeria can look to the prospect of more medals in athletics as women’s 100m African Hurdles Champion Tobi Amusan made it through to the final in 12.69secs. Compatriots Oluwakemi Francis and Grace Ayemoba missed out on a place in the final after they both finished in fourth place in their respective heats.
In the men’s 400m semis. Emmanuel Ojeli (46.21secs) and Chidi Okezie (46.20secs) will fly the country’s flag in the final later today but Orukpe Eraiyokan was a no-show as he failed to start his race.
Patience Okon-George (51.96secs) and Favour Ofili (51.94secs) qualified for the finals in the women’s category.
In the relays, the quartet of Joy Udo-Gabriel, Blessing Okagbare, Mercy Ntia-Obong and Rosemary Chukwuma coasted into the final after they won Heat 2 of the women’s 4x100m in a time of 43.49secs.
Divine Oduduru turned out for Nigeria for the first time in Morocco as he combined with Emmanuel Arowolo, Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Seye Ogunlewe to win Heat 1 in 39.15s to qualify for the final of the 4x100m men’s event.
In Tennis, Nigeria’s great hope Oyinlomo Quadre lost her singles semifinal match against South African Storm Simmond in straight sets but she, however, bounced back in the Women’s doubles as she teamed up withDeandra Osabuohien to defeat their Kenyan opponents in straight sets.
Nigeria remain on course to compete for medals in Table Tennis as the quartet of Ajoke Ojomu, Edem Offiong, Fatimo Bello and Olufunke Oshonaike all won their R16 Women’s single matches although Cecilia Akpan failed to join them after she fell to South Africa’s Danisha Patel.
In the men’s category, Quadri Aruna, Mati Taiwo, Segun Toriola, Olajide Omotayo and Bode Abiodun all won their singles matches to progress to the R16.
In Football, Nigeria will have a chance to claim a second gold medal in the event after they dispatched Mali 5-4 on penalties to qualify for their seventh final where they’ll face Burkina Faso.
After 12 days of competition, Egypt still lead the medals table with a haul of 142 medals (40 Gold, 64 Silver, 38 Bronze), followed by South Africa who have won 56 medals (25 Gold, 17 Silver, 14 Bronze). Hosts Morocco are third having amassed a total of 72 medals ( 22 Gold, 21 Silver, 29 Bronze).