By AFN Editor on Thu, 07/04/2011 - 2:23pm
The maiden edition of the Pastor D.K. Olukoya National Under-18 Athletics Championships ended yesterday at the Yaba College of technology in Lagos with Abia athlete, Harry Chukwudike emerging the fastest runner of the 2011 edition in the 100m race.
Harry reached the finish line in a time of 10.61secs to pick the gold while Rotimi Adebayo (10.88) of Buka Tigers Track Club, Ijebu Ode and Mamus Emuobonivie (10.94) of Delta State placed second and third respectively.
Chukwudike returned later yesterday to confirm that his victory in the 100m was no fluke when he also dusted the field to add the 200m title in 21.97 ahead of Rotimi Adebayo (21. 99) of Buka Tiger while Demola Adeniji (22.19) of Osheku Club placed finshed as third.
In the female version of the sprint, Isoken Wisdom of Edo athlete blasted all comers in 11.94 to emerge tops as Busola Adewale (12.36) and Bidemi Ogunlola (12.37) struggled for the silver and bronze in that order.
Just Like Chukwudike, Isoken also won the longer sprint to complete the double. She clocked 24. 61 to pick the 200m gold as Busola Adewale (25.61) settled for a second silver while Greater Tomorrow athlete, Rukayat Aweda (25.67) was contented with her bronze medal.
However, the revelation of the D.K Olukoya Athletics Meet was in the quarter mile where Ololade Durojaiye (48.78) overcomes a slow start to ease gracefully into the gold. Rivers State runners Friday Baridora and Isa Umar won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Speaking on the championships, athletics coach, Uruemu Adu said: “Let’s give it to these youths; they have proven that if given the proper training, they will be once that will represent the country after the 2012 Olympics.
"I think it is time for private organizations to come to the aid of Nigeria athletics because the AFN has tried in their part in raising the standard of the sport but the additional fund they will get from the corporate organizations will help to sustain the dream.”
Also, AFN board member in charge of grassroots developments, Dr. Jide Josiah expressed his satisfaction with the quality of the races and times recorded in the various events.
“The competition was quite exciting with the quality of races recorded here. As you can see, most of the Under-16 athletes who ran with the U-18 proved their worth and were not mere push over. Take the 400m for example where that small boy (Ololade Durojaiye) emerged champion, no one gave him any chance but yet he came out champion in the midsts of U-18 runners. With good handling, that boy will go places,” he enthused.
Over 500 athletes from 16 states and 18 track and field clubs participated in the two-day championships which held at the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex, Lagos.