–Bring Nigeria’s total haul in athletics to 7
By Sab Osuji In Brazzaville:
In the heptathlon, Uhunoma had to wait till the last (seventh) event (800m) and set a new 2:20.12 personal best to wrestle control of proceedings from Benin Republic’s Ahouanwanou Odile and crowned herself the fourth Nigerian winner of the event after Bella Bell-Gam (1978), Rita Izojie (1991) and Oluchi Elechi (1995).
The Pharmmacy graduate who placed 18th at the last IAAF World Championships in Beijing,China amassed a total of 5,892 points ahead of Ahouanwanou (5,734 points) and KOALA Marthe C. Yasmine of Burjkina Faso who hauled 5,664 points.The two other Nigerians in the event,Oluwakemi Ruth Francis (5,428 points) and Idhe Hope (5,060 points) finished fourth and sixth respectively.
In the women’s long jump,Chinazom Amadi leapt a distance of 6.31m to win the gold with reigning Commonwealth and African Championships champion,Ese Brume who could not improve on her opening jump of 6.23m.
The third Nigerian in the event,Ibrhaim Blessing jumped a rather pedestrian 5.84m to finish 10th.
Amadi,whose 6.31m mark is the poorest winning jump since Modupe Oshikoya leapt 6.16m in 1973 in Lagos ensured the gold medal would return to Nigeria with her fourth round effort to supplant Algeria’s Romaissa TAHANI BELABIOD who had shot into the lead with her first round efort of 6.30m.
Nigeria also struck gold in the women’s discus event with Claire UKE’s third round throw of 54.25m enough to secure her the gold and enter into the record books as the first Nigerian to win the gold medal in the event.
It was however another sad tale for the men as Victor Okorie failed to make it to the podium in the 400m hurdles,running 50.01 to place seventth.Algeria’s Abdelmalik LAHOULOU ran a new 48.67 national record to win the gold ahead of his compatriot,Miloud RAHMANI (49.27) and Tunisia’s Mohamed SGHAIER (49.32) who finished second and third respectively.