By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Nigeriaâ€™s quest for a sprint medal at the ongoing XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia rests on the shoulders of Enoch Adegoke today in the finals of the menâ€™s 100m event.
Yesterday, Adegoke braved the strong field to win the second semi final race in 10.24 secs. Before then, he had set a Personal Best time of 10.19 to win his heat. That time is one of the fastest leading to todayâ€™s final behind Jamaican Yohan Blake.
Another Nigerian, Seye Ogunlewe also made the blue ribband event as one of the fastest losers in the semi final.
Ogunlewe finished 3rd behind Cayman Islandâ€™s Kemar Hyman and Akani Simbine of South Africa.
Former Nigeriaâ€™s sprint champion, Ogho-Oghene Egwero failed to make the final as he ran a dismal 10.42 to finish 6th in the first semi won by Blake (10.06) with Englishman Adam Gemili the runner up.
How Adegoke will make his podium placement a reality remains to be seen as he has Blake with a PB of 9.69 with a seasonâ€™s best of 9.90 and Simbine (PB: 9.89) and season best of 9.94 all to contend with.
Except for fa alse start violation and other sundry cases, Adegoke should be contended with lowering his PB even if he cannot make the podium.
Earlier yesterday, all three Nigerian semi finalists in the womenâ€™s sprint failed to make the final.
Isoken Igbinosun, Jennifer Madu and Joy Udo-Gabriel could not hit the final of the event Blessing Okagbare won four years ago in Glasgow, Scotland and even added the longer sprint to complete the double.
However, the performance of Udo-Gabriel was heartwarming to track and field aficionados as the 18-year old University of Lagos Undergraduate rekindled hope in future stars emerging from the local scene in the country.
The 11.53 she ran to finish 4th is the second fastest time of her fledgling career.
Meanwhile, there will also be finals in the men’s shot-put and the Para Athletics.
Goodness Duru will be also be hunting for a medal in the Women’s F46 Javelin throw at the Carrara Stadium.
Samson Nathaniel and Chidi Okezie will also compete in the 400m men’s semi final.
Elsewhere at the Oxemford Studios, Nigeria’s Millicent Agboegbulem will fight Elizabeth Andiego of Kenya in the quarter final of women’s 75kg boxing weight class while Lukmon Lawal faces Uganda’s Regarn Singwa in the men’s 81kg round of 16.
The men’s Table Tennis team will take on England in the semi final while D’Tigers also face Australia in the preliminaries of the basketball event in Cairns.