By Olayinka Elebute
…as championship ends today with relays
It’s heartwarming to witness the huge spectators turn-out to watch athletics competition occasioned by 4-day Olympic athleticsTrials taking place at Yaba College of Technology Sports complex in Lagos.
Just like in the Mobil Championship days, It is however a positive surprise to most athletics watchers that this crowd could be interested in watching Athletics where football is trending in Europe, Africa and Nigeria.
Day two of the competition was fantastic as crowd took over all the stands having watched Blessing Okagbare who nearly smashed the African record with her wind aided 10:63secs on Thursday evening.
The new board members of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria were really not sure what the spectators were watching until the jumps started.
The way the crowd roared after each successful jump by jumpers.at Yaba College of technology was a delight.
“For some time now we have not had such an appreciative crowd. It’s good for athletics and would enhance athletes confidence,” said a board member, Victor Okorie.
He attributed the presence of the crowd to the appearance of Athletes like Blessing Okagbare, Tobi Amusan, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Grace Nkwocha etc.
Meanwhile, as expected, the third day of the championships was dominated by the throwers with two National Record Holders, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Annette Echikunwoke entertaining the crowd in men’s Shot Put and women’s Hammer throw respectively.
Enekwechi, already through to the Olympics, won the shot put with a throw of 21.47m with Dotun Ogundeji taking the silver with a throw of 19.68m.
The third position goes to Eke Kalu of the Nigeria Custom, throwing the distance of 17.16m.
It was a wide gap between the two US-based hammer thrower and the other athletes competing in the event as they came up with the gold and silver medal.
Echikunwoke, the current World No.6 in the event, emerged winner after throwing a distance of 72.07m as Oyesade Olatoye finished second with a distance of 67.42m.
Third position went to Eucharia Ogbukwu in a distance of 37.80m
The final day of the trials will see athletes competing in the Masters Relay, Long Jump (women), 4x400m (women and men), 4x100m (women and men), 4x400m mixed relay and the men’s javelin final.