Athletics Championship: Okagbare, Ukale win 200m titles

Blessing Okagbare

Both winners could not match existing records.

Elvis Ukale on Friday in Calabar won the men’s 200m final at the on-going All Nigeria/Cross River Open Athletics Championships.

Ukale, who ran in a time of 21.16 seconds, breasted the finish line ahead of Noah Akwu who recorded 21.28 seconds and Briggs Tamunotonye who had 21.34 seconds. Both Akwu and Tamunotonye claimed silver and bronze medals respectively.

Ukale’s winning time was, however, a far cry from the national record of 19.84 seconds set by Francis Obikwelu in 1999.

In his reaction, Ukale, whose time was not enough to meet the required international standard, said even though he was excited he won, he believed there was still some work ahead.

He however said he was hopeful of recording an improved time in order to better his chances of competing at the world level.

“This is a good moment in my career. I’m happy I won the gold, but I must admit that there is still much work to do. I still haven’t hit the international benchmark,” he said.

In the women’s 200m, Blessing Okagbare of Delta claimed the gold medal two days after she had won the 100m gold.

Okagbare finished in a time of 22.65 seconds ahead of Miriam Bassey of Cross River and Janet Amposah of Ghana.

The duo of Bassey and Amposah claimed the silver and bronze medals with 23.74 and 23.79 seconds respectively.

Okagbare could however not match the national record of 22.07 set by Mary Onyali in the 200m event in 1996.


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