The first-ever Golden League meet put together by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) ended at the weekend in Abuja with organizers at loggerheads over its outcome.
While the AFN technical director, Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, admitted that the event was flawed due to what he described as below par performance of participating athletes, AFN president, Chief Solomon Ogba, is of the view that the weekend’s competition was meant to test athletes’ fitness was a huge success.
In his comments, Nesiama expressed disappointment over the performance of some athletes who took part in track and field events, adding “there is lot more work to do if we will get things right at future international competitions. However, I hope to see better performance as the season progresses with the Golden League.”
On his part, Chief Ogba opined: “As far as I am concerned, the Golden League competition recorded huge success. Don’t forget that the essence of the competition is to examine our athletes. It is not for us to begin to wonder if it affects the athletes’ performance later on or not. It is good that we organized this early enough to help us know the areas we still need to concentrate as we prepare for both Commonwealth and Olympic Games.”
Obinna Metu had finished in 10.36 secs to win men’s 100m, while Egwero Ogho-Oghene of Delta posted 10.40 secs for a second spot as Onyeaku Chukwuma of Uniben returned in 10.45 secs to finish in the third position.
Obinna Metu, who was visibly not happy with his timing despite winning the gold medal, blamed muscle pull for his 10.36 secs finish instead of his usual 10.11 record timing.
In the female event, Uko Alphonsus Peace (11.45) outran Goodness Thomas (11.59) of the Nigeria Police for the gold, while Ezealah Nkem (11.61) of Lagos won the bronze.
In men’s 400m event, Tobi Ogunmola of NSCDC won gold in 46.66 secs, while Akerele Omeza of Uniben, who posted 46.92 secs, picked a silver, leaving Fasasi Rilwan of Bintas, who returned in 47.25 secs to settle for the third position.
In the female 400m, George Okon of Cross River finished in 53.07 secs for a gold, beating Funke Oladoye of CDA, who posted 53.60 secs to claim silver, while Afolake Junaid of Africa Youth Club with 54.69 secs settled for a bronze.