Abuja, NigeriaMoments after he won the men’s 100m on the second day of Athletics competition at the 2003 All-Africa Games (12 October), Nigeria's Aliu Deji was rolling on track and crying with happiness.
Aliu was in his element, his concentration was total. It was his third major final of this season and he was determined not miss the opportunity again, after ending this year's IAAF World Championships, both indoor (60m) and outdoor as an ‘also-ran’.
A false start made the second blast from the blocks more than important and Aliu got it perfectly right taking the race in 9.95 seconds. In so doing he overhauled a field that included, the 2002 Commonwealth silver medallist and IAAF World Cup winner Emedolu Uchenna, and defending champion Leonard Myles-Mills to win the dash.
For Aliu, this his first major title after the 1994 World Junior Championships in Lisbon, Portugal, where he won the 100m gold medal. It is also a new African Games record, and a new personal.
Even in the athlete/media Mixed Zone, Aliu could not answer reporters questions properly. "I am too happy, I give glory to God, this the best moment of my life, the memory will linger forever.”
Onyali gets women’s 100m decision
But the women’s 100m was a different ball game all together. Although, Mary Onyali was decorated with the gold medal at the end of the day, the scoreboard had originally shown Endurance Ojokolo as the winner of the race in time of 11.27. However, within seconds, Onyali was declared the winner in 11.26, with Ojokolo in silver (11.27) and Ghana’s Vida Anim in bronze (11.29). This was Onyali's third 100m win at the African Games, having also taken the titles back in 1991 and 1995.
Ethiopia sweeps 10,000m medals
Sileshi Sihin of Ethiopia won the men’s 10,000m in a new Games record of 27:42.13 with Gebre Gebremariam taking the silver in 27:43.12, and Birhandu Dejene the bronze in 27:47.19 to complete an Ethiopian sweep.
Home boy William Erese who was favoured to win the 110m Hurdles was disqualified from the final because he false started. Madagascar’s Joseph Berlioz Randriahihaja won the gold medal in 13.77, Sudan’s Todd Matthews Jouda the silver in 13.81, while South African Frikkie van Zyl took the bronze in 13.94.
Omolade Akinremi of Nigeria returned a 56.98 cloking to win the women 400 Hurdles, it was a new personal best. Kate Obilor also from Nigeria took the silver in 57.53, and Cameroon’s Caroline Kaboud Mebam won the bronze in 58.28.
Vivian Chukwuemeka’s ambition of three gold medals crashed today as South African Naude Elizna threw the Discus 57.44 metres to win the women’s final. Chukwuemeka who won the Shot on the first day in a Games record, took the silver with 54.83, and Togo Djibril Alifatou won the bronze with 54.79.
Ndoye wins women’s Triple Jump
Senegal’s Kéné Ndoye won the women’s Triple Jump with 14.23m, ahead of Nigeria’s Salatu Alimu (13.47) and Nkechi Mbaoma (13.18m PB).
Nigeria’s Nneka Ukuh surprisingly won the women’s High Jump. The Nigerian who set her previous best this season of 1.80m when winning the national title in Abuja in July, won the African Games title on count-back from South Africa’s Marizca Gertenbach on 1.84m.
As the Athletics enters it third day today (13 October), the focus will on the men’s and women’s 400 finals and the men’s 800m.
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