Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gbagbeke Opens Season with Golden League Victory

National long jump champion, Stanley Gbagbeke, started his outdoor season ahead of the 2013 World Championships in Moscow with a 7.64m at the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Golden League in Sagamu on Saturday the 13th April.
Although it was a far cry from his 8.20m personal best he posted at the All Nigeria Open in Calabar last year, the former Middle Tennessee State University long jumper believes it certainly is not a bad way to start the season.
“Not a bad result even though I looked forward to a better result from this first leg of the AFN Golden League here in Sagamu. By the time I do more jumps in the series, I should be in better shape before the World Championships trial in Calabar in June,” observed the Oginibo-born Delta athlete.
Toyin Oladimeji (7.62m) and Babajide Okulaja (7.37m) settled for the silver and bronze medals respectively.
In the women hammer, Queen Obisesan came close to equal the national record of 61.27m when she landed 61.03m in her final throw at the Gateway Stadium in Sagamu. The Christabel athlete hope to send the national record to the achieve in the next leg scheduled for April 27 in Benin City. Feyisayo Daramola (57.66m) of the NSCDC and Elizabeth Bello (38.11m) of Eagle Sight Track Club picked the silver and bronze.
National Sports Festival double gold medalist, Aminat Olowora (17.41.71) is fast on the heels of runners from the Plateau region as she placed third behind Deborah Pam (17.26.62) and Janet Dung (17.41.17) who won the gold and silver of the women’s 5,000m.
Olajide Abiola won the men’s triple jump event with an uninspiring 15.19m. George Jones (14.62) of Prisons Track Club and Sodipo Busayo (14.14m) of the ICDO highlighted the fallen standard of triple jumpers in the country. They were very far from the 17.22m of national champion in the event, Tosin Oke and the 17.23 m national record set by Ajayi Agbebaku in the mid 1980s.
NSCDC’s Augustin Nwoye got the better part of his pal, Kenechukwu Ezeofor of the Prisons Club to pick the gold medal. Nwoye heaved 47.87m while Ezeofor could only manage 46.98m for the silver. The consolatory bronze went to Osi Sunday Dari (46.02m).
Ex international and former Head Coach, Seigha Porbeni applauded the performance of athletes in the first leg of the golden league.
“I am excited by what I am seeing here. The turnout of athletes is good and of course, as the first leg of the golden league series, I do not expect any one who understands athletics to be looking for any meaningful outing here,” observed Porbeni.
He praised AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba for bringing back how it used to be in the past. “We are getting back to what it used to be. Our athletes must constantly be kept busy and not allowed to waste,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the next leg of the AFN Golden League has been scheduled to hold in Benin City on April 27, one week before the Okpekpe International 10km Road Race.

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