South Africa finished tops instead with ten gold, five silver and four bronze medals.
A solitary gold medal on the last day of competition at the 19th African Athletics Championships in Morocco was inadequate for Nigeria to retain her place as the continent’s best track and field country.
South Africa finished tops instead with ten gold, five silver and four bronze medals. Nigeria finished second with eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals.
Going into Thursday’s evening session, Nigeria was on seven gold medals while South Africa was on nine gold medals. The permutation was that Team Nigeria will overtake and retain the title won two years ago in Port Norvo, Benin Republic.
However, that was not case as only Nigeria’s 4x400m Women’s team won gold on Thursday.
Amaka Ogoegbunam got Nigeria’s first medal on the night as she secured a silver medal in the 400m hurdles event for women. Thereafter, Dominique Duncan took bronze for Nigeria in the women’s 200m behind the Ivorian duo of Murielle Ahoure (22.36) and Ta Lou Gonezie. Duncan (22.87) returned a time of 22.98secs while Gloria Asumnu and Regina George finish fifth and sixth respectively.
Nigeria ended empty-handed in the men’s race as Nigeria’s promising youngster, Divine Oduduru, placed sixth in the men’s 200m final with 20.81. The 100m champion, Wilfried Koffi Hua, added the 200m title to his kitty with a National Record of 20.25secs, followed by Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (20.51) and Carvin Nkanata of Kenya (20.53).
In the shot put women’s event where there was so much hope for a gold medal, Chinwe Okoro could only secure a silver with a throw of 16.40m. Nwanneka Okwelogu, the other Nigerian on parade, placed fourth with 15.14m.
Also, Blessing Ibukun Ibrahim settled for bronze in the women’s triple jump event with a leap of 13.35m.
It was only the quartet of Folashade Abugan, Ada Benjamin, Regina George and Patience George Okon that got gold in the women’s 4x400m event.
In the men’s version, Noah Akwu, Robert Simmons, Miles Ukaoma and Amaechi Morton won silver.