NIGERIA has returned to the fold of nations producing sprinters who can compete for international sprint medals after Raymond Ekevwo won the 100 metres event at the ongoing 2019 All African games with a time of 9.96 seconds.
Of late, sprinters who can complete 100 metres under 10 seconds arte considered world class and athletes need to be that good to get to the finals of big tournaments like Olympic games and World Athletics Championships. In the past, Nigeria has produced sprinters of this calibre such as Chidi Imoh, Daniel Effiong, Olapade Adenekan and Soji Fasuba but of late, the production line has dried up.
Earlier today, Ekevwo won gold in the 100 metres final in Morocco, with another Nigerian, Usheori Itsekiri, coming third with a time of 10.02secs. Both athletes achieved personal best times in what was first time since 2007 that Nigeria will win gold in the men’s 100m at the All African Games.
Nigeria’s Fasuba remains the current African 100 metres record holder with a time 9.85 seconds, making him the fastest African of all time. Fasuba, now 35 and a soldier with the British Royal Navy, is the ninth fastest 100 m runner ever and the fastest runner outside of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association.
Before Fasuba set his record, Adenekan had run 9.95 seconds while Effiong’s fastest time was 9.98 seconds. Imoh was Nigeria’s first genuine 100 metres world class athlete when he won gold at the 1987 All Africa Games in 10 seconds flat.