13th African Games: Olatoye to spearhead Nigeria’s final day gold rush in athletics                 

Olajide, Goodluck, Chinecherem, Consider, Alaba also in action

Oyesade Olatoye will spearhead Nigeria’s chase for a possible final-day gold medal haul in track and field at the ongoing 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana.

Nigeria will be competing in as many as seven finals today and Olatoye will be seeking to reclaim the gold medal she was stripped of five years ago in Rabat at the 12th edition following Nigeria’s violation of the World Athletics eligibility rule as she was not cleared to represent Nigeria during the games.

The then 22-year-old was only cleared to compete for Nigeria on September 16, 2019, almost three weeks after the games in Rabat.

Olatoye will now be eager to take her gold back legally against Ischke Senekal who profited from the Nigerian’s disqualification and is in Accra to defend her title.

In the women’s 200m, Olajide Olayinka will be aiming to win an individual gold medal on her African Games debut after taking the bronze medal in the 100m.

Olajide will however have to contend with Gina Bass, the Gambian who’s seeking to become only the sixth woman to successfully complete a sprint double in the history of the games after Alice Anum (1973), Hannah Afriye (1978), Mary Onyali (1995 and 2003), Oludamola Osayomi (2007 and 2011) and Marie Jose Ta Lou (2015).
For the men, Consider Ekanem and Alaba Akintola will be hoping to return Nigeria to the podium as African Games 200m champion since Uchenna Emedolu picked the gold medal in 2003 as the third Nigerian man to win it after Sunday Bada (1995) and Francis Obikwelu (1999).

Fiaku Goodluck will be competing in the men’s high jump final and he will be seeking to become the third Nigerian after Samuel Igun and Anthony Idiata to win the gold medal but the first since 1999.

The same scenario will play out in the men’s javelin throw as Nnamdi Chinecherem and Nmesirronye Emeka will be hoping to win the javelin gold 29 years after Pius Bazighe became the third Nigerian man to be crowned African Games champion.

In the men’s long jump final, Emmanuel Odinaka Njoku will be looking to achieve what no Nigerian has achieved in 33 years when George Ogbeide jumped 8.22m to become the fourth Nigerian after Edward Akika (1965), Charlton Ehizuelen (1978) and Paul Emordi (1987) to win the gold medal.

In the 4x400m relay, Nigeria will be hoping for a win to complete a clean sweep of relay gold medals at the Games in Accra.

While the men to be led by 400m champion, Chidi Okezie will be seeking to win Nigeria’s first gold in the event since 1999, the women’s will be looking to consolidate their hold on the gold and win it for the ninth straight time since they first triumphed in 1987 in Nairobi Kenya.

The team has won eighth out of the 11 gold medals offered since 1973 when the event made its debut at the Games.

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