This Day (Lagos)

20 June 2012

Nigeria: Metu Dethrones Egwero to Reclaim Sprint Title

Obinna Metu Wednesday stormed back to the top of Nigeria's sprints to win the hotly contested 100m event of the All Nigeria/CRS Athletics Championships in 10.11 secs. In doing this, Metu blasted defending champion, Ogho Oghene Egwero (10.19) into the second position while a new face in the event, USA-based, Stanley Azie sneaked into the third.

Peter Emelieze, who came into this Nigeria's London Olympic Trials here in Calabar as a contender, posted the most disappointing time of 10.39 to place 6th despite winning his semi final earlier in 10.21.

Speaking shortly after the race, Metu insisted that his best was yet to come.

"I am happy I have proved here that changing one's training regime and coach can sometime be beneficial. Despite taking the title here, my best is yet to come. My aim is to do well at the Olympics in London and not just becoming local champion here," said Metu, who earlier had posted 10.17 to win his semi final race.

Metu, who competed here in the colours of Prisons Service, promised to also add the longer sprint (200m) to the 100m title already in the bag.

Commenting on Metu's feat, Team Nigeria's Head Coach, Innocent Egbunike described the new champion as a worthy student ready to put into practice all that he learnt at the Atlanta camp.

"I am blessed to see him smiling now. He told he was coming here to show a few of the new tricks he learnt at the Olympic camp. He had challenges coming to the camp. I am happy that some of the athletes from that camp have shown that it was not all a waste of effort," observed Egbunike, who anchored Nigeria's 4x400m relay quartet to a bronze medal at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

Dethroned Egwero accepted defeat with all humility.

"You win some, lose some. Today was not just my day. I congratulate Obinna (Metu) for giving me a good race. Now that the 100m is over, let's see what happens in the 200m on Thursday."

In the other events, triple jump champion, UK-based Tosin Oke erased his previous national record of 17.22m by an inch to a new 17.23m.

Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps' Olajide Abiola (15.05m) and George Jones (14.95m) of the Prisons Service were second and third respectively.

In the women's 100m hurdles event, it was an all Delta State affair as favourites Seun Adigun hopped to the gold in 13.13secs. Another USA-based heptathlete, Uhunoma Naomi Osazuwa (13.16) and Jessica Ohanaja (13.30) finished second and third respectively.

Cross River State long distance runner, Israel Sadjo, who won all the six legs of the AFN Golden League and a share of the N2m prize money reconfirmed his position when he easily over run all to clinch the 5000m event in 14 mins.33.19. John Bulus Jah of High Altitude Club (14.33.27) and Danjuma Kopkuddi of Immigration (14.40.71) placed second and third respectively.

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