23rd African Athletics Championships: Nigeria extends winless run in men and women’s 100m to at least 18 and 12 years respectively!

Fahnbulleh makes history as first Liberian to win the title

Kanyinsola Ajayi’s bid to end Nigeria’s winless run in the men’s 100m event was truncated Saturday evening after the 19 year old finished fourth in the final of the event at the 23rd African Athletics Championships in Douala, Cameroon.

The reigning Nigerian champion ran 10.20 seconds to finish behind Liberia’s Joseph Fahnbulleh who won in 10.13 with home boy, Emmanuel Eseme second in 10.15 while South Africa’s Benjamin Richardson got the bronze medal (10.17).

Nigeria has not won the 100m title since 2008 in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia where Olusoji Fasuba completed his hat-trick of titles to become the first African man to win the blue ribband event three times consecutively.

Since that time, the closest any Nigerian man has come were the bronze medals wins by ‘adopted Nigerian’ Monzavous Edwards in 2014 and by the original Nigerian, Ajayi.

In the women’s final, Gina Bass of The Gambia successfully defended her title after Marie-Jose Ta Lou-Smith, Favour Ofili and Rosemary Chukwuma failed to come out for their semifinalheats.

Bass ran 11.13 to win ahead of Maia McCoy of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire’s Maboundou Kone who came in third.

Nigeria’s Olayinka Olajide, silver medalist behind Bass at the African Games in March could only finish in seventh place.

Blessing Okagbare remains the last Nigerian winner of the event when she ran a then 11.00 seconds Championships record to win in 2014 in Marrakech, Morocco.

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