Team Nigeria retained their African Junior Athletics Championships title by winning 12 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals ahead of South Africa and Ethiopia.
The South Africans garnered a total of 23 medals made up of nine gold,seven silver and seven bronze medals to place second while host Ethiopia won six gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals for third place.
The Nigerian team,led by IAAF World Junior 200m silver medallist,Divine Oduduru and Commonwealth Games long jump queen,Ese Brume grabbed six more gold medals on the final day of competition to put daylight between her and the rest of Africa at the junior level. Brume,who flopped at the global stage last year in Oregon, USA put the icing on the cake by setting a new 6.33m championships record in the long jump for her second gold medal of the championships.
She had earlier won the triple jump gold (13.16m) on the second day of competition for an historic long jump/triple jump double at the championships.
Brume,the University of Benin undergraduate student however had to wait till her last jump of the event to move clear of her compatriot,Policewoman Grace Umelo who held the record since 1997 when Nigeria hosted the championship in Ibadan.She had equalled Umelo’s feat with her very first jump of the competition.
Oduduru on his part merely fulfilled expectations as the next big thing in Nigerian athletics as he successfully completed a sprints (100/200m) double to emulate the the feats performed by the likes of Deji Aliu (1994) and the late Sunday Emmanuel (1997).
Temidayo Osinbanjo won a rare heptathlon gold for Nigeria at the junior level by amassing 4,765 points while certain Ituah Enahoro had a day earlier also performed a rare feat by winning a silver medal in the men’s pole vault.
Abdulahi Bashiru picked the 110m gold (13.99) while his compatriot,Ifeanyi Atuma was disqualified.In the 4x400m relay women,the quartet of Esther Asamu,Yinka Ajayi, Praise Idamadudu and 400m gold medal winner,Oluwatosin Adeloye ran 3.38.94 to win the gold medal
AJC MEDALS TABLE
G S B T
Nigeria 12 8 7 27
S/Africa 9 7 7 23
Ethiopia 6 12 10 28
Egypt 5 5 3 13
Kenya 4 5 3 12
Algeria 2 1 2 5
Botswana 2 1 – 3
Morocco 1 1 3 5
Uganda 1 – 2 3
Tunisia 1 – 1 2