Imaobong Nse Uko, the current National U15 Champion, gave a breathtaking performance to finish ahead of the other experienced athletes all lined up in the Women’s 400m final, in yet another surprise performance at the 19th National Sports Festival ongoing in Abuja, on Thursday.
Nse came from the fourth position to heroically win at the finish line at 52.35s, thus winning gold for Team Akwa Ibom.
In the men’s race, Orupe Erayokan was the winner as the Team Rivers star finished with a time of 46.52 to win gold ahead of Team Akwa Ibom’s Shedrack Akpei who finished in a time of 46.78.
Another youngster, Emmanuel Ojei, added to the medals won by Lagos State by finishing third in the final of the men’s 400m.
Speaking after his race, Emmanuel said he came to the festival to enjoy himself and it was a big plus for him to win a medal.
“While coming to Abuja, I was not thinking of winning any medal,” he said.
“Even when I got to the final, I decided to execute my race and not to put myself under any pressure. So I am happy winning a medal for my efforts.
“It has been a lot of hard work and total dedication and for God to crown my efforts with a medal, I am very happy.
“I will have to go back now and start proper preparation for the new season as there are a lot of competitions to look forward to in 2019.”
Precious Okoronkwo won the Lagos State’s first medal in athletics on the opening day of the festival when she won the silver medal in the women’s long jump.