Nigeria’s dominance in athletics on the African continent has again been proven as the country’s contingent to the 12th edition of the Africa Junior Athletics Championships which ended Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, finished tops in the four-day event, premium times reports. The Nigerian team, led by Ese Brume and Divine Oduduru, finished top of the medals table with 12 gold, 8 silver and 7 bronze medals.
Coming behind Nigeria was South Africa who scooped 9 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze medals. Hosts Ethiopia settled for third spot in the final medal standings having garnered 7 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals. The Nigerian contingent, who were selected from the last D.K. Olukoya Athletics Championships held in Lagos, gave so much to cheer as there seems to be some ray of hope that the youngsters on parade can improve to be world beaters. Since Theddus Okpara won the country’s first medal, a silver in the men’s Long Jump in the opening day of the competition, the Nigerian athletes continued to win more medals and set new championship records. The quartet of Aniekeme Alphonsus, Omotayo Abolaji, Blessing Adiakerehwa and Ese Brume broke the 18-year-old record in the 4x100m relays event for women. The men’s 4x100m team made up of Thankgod Igube, Victor Peka, Chukwudi Olisakwe and Divine Oduduru also impressed as they broke the 40s barrier with a time of 39.99s to win the event. Also Brume did show class as she added the Triple Jump gold to her Long Jump title with a Championship Record (CR) of 6.33m. The youngster won four medals (3 gold and 1bronze). The Nigerian contingent is expected back in the country on Monday and it is expected that the team will get the rosy welcome they deserve after representing the country well in the championship.
The final medals table: