By Dare Esan:
Quartermiler Eraiyokan Orukpe who surprised Nigerian athletics watchers with his incredible 44.95 seconds 400m run seven months ago at the All Africa Games in Congo has failed to convince the performance was not by happenstance as he once again churned out a mediocre performance Wednesday at the IAAF World Challenge Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal.
The Edo State-born athlete ran a mind-boggling 48.07 seconds to place fifth at the meeting held at the famous Stade Leopord Senghor in Dakar.
Reigning world champion, South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk, remains Africa’s fastest man so far this outdoor season with the altitude-aided 44.11 seconds he ran in Bloemfontein, South Africa early this month while USA-based Adekunle Fasasi (45.43) is Nigeria’s fastest man over the distance this year.
In the women’s version, IAAF World Championships semi-finalist Patience Okon-George (52.20) came second behind Botswana’s Jele Lydia (52.18).
It was Okon-George’s second fastest time of the season after running 52.00 seconds last Saturday in Sapele, Delta State at the Athletic Federation of Nigeria Golden League meeting.
South Africa’s middle distance runner, Caster Semenya, holds the fastest time (50.74 seconds) by an African in the event so far this year while USA-based Margaret Bamgbose (51.11) is Nigeria’s fastest woman over the distance so far in 2016.