Archive | July, 2014

Can Former American Tyron Akins lead Nigeria to 110m Hurdles Medals @ C’wealth Games?

28 Jul

Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the American Athletes recently recruited to Team Nigeria, we analyse the chances of Nigeria’s current 110m  Hurdles Champion, 28-year-old Tyron Akins, formerly of Team USA, in the 110m Hurdles at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday, as well as the chances of runner-up at the Nigerian trials, 25-year-old Alex Al-Ameen, the former British athlete whose father is Nigerian.

On Sunday we asked the question of whether the recently recruited Americans had improved Nigeria’s 100m sprinting pool and whether they could help Team Nigeria to win Commonwealth Medals, and today we’re asking the same question for the 110m hurdles. At MAKING OF CHAMPIONS, we have EXCLUSIVELY put together the 2014 Commonwealth Athlete rankings in the 110m Hurdles to analyse Nigeria’s medal chances in the event!

2014 CWG Mens 110m Hurdles list

Essentially, Akins and Al-Ameen are evenly matched at the moment based on their Season’s Bests, but Akins came out on top at the Nigerian Trials when it mattered, winning in 13.66s, with Al-Ameen second in 13.75s and three-time National Sports Festival Champion, Martin Ogieriakhi, third in 13.93s. While Al-Ameen and Akins have certainly given Nigeria an upgrade in terms of the men’s sprint hurdles pool, they are only ranked 13th and 14th amongst Commonwealth  athletes this year, as such it looks like they would have to shave two or three tenths of their best times this season to be in medal contention at these Games.

Akins could be capable of that, if he rediscovers his best form – he has a PB of 13.25s from 2008, and ran 13.30s in three consecutive seasons from 2010 to 2012. Al-Ameen’s best this season is also his lifetime best, and at 25, he still has a number of years to improve in the 110m hurdles, so it remains to be seen if this Games has come too soon for him to make an appreciable impact. The 110m hurdles kick off tomorrow (Tuesday) with 3 stacked Semi-Finals, with one of the three Nigerian hurdlers in each one – given the better ranked athletes that each race is filled with, our hope is that at least one of them can make the Final on Tuesday evening!

 

Men’s 110m Hurdles Semi-Finals on Tues July 29th

 

10.55am: Heat 1 – Alex Al-Ameen (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 13) vs

Andrew Riley (JAM No. 2, C’wealth No. 2) &

Shane Brathwaite (BAR No. 1, C’wealth No. 5)

 

11.01 am: Heat 2 – Tyron Akins (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 14) vs

Hansle Parchment (JAM No. 1, C’wealth No. 1),

Greggmar Swift (BAR No. 2, C’wealth No. 6) &

Lawrence Clarke (ENG No. 2, C’wealth No. 7)

 

11.07am: Heat 3 – Martin Ogieriakhi (NGR No. 3, C’wealth No. 19) vs 

Wayne Davis II (TTO No. 1, C’wealth No. 3),

William Sharman (ENG No. 1, C’wealth No. 4) &

Ryan Brathwaite (BAR No. 3, C’wealth No. 10)

 

MoC PREDICTION: Based on how stacked each Semi-Final is, Akins and Al-Ameen might be racing each other for a fastest losers’ spot in the final – at least one of them could scrape through, but anything can happen in the hurdles, so a great result would be to have both of them reach the final! It would be a huge surprise if either of them were to claim a medal in the Final on Tuesday night. Once again, it’s the hurdles and anything can happen, so we can only hope!

 

 

Segun Toriola wins RALLY of the YEAR as Nigeria wins Table Tennis Bronze @ Commonwealth Games

28 Jul

Nigeria won a Bronze medal in the men’s team table tennis this morning, by defeating India 3 matches to 1, with wins in the singles matches from Quadri Aruna and  Ojo Onaolapo (3 games to 1 each) and a win in the doubles by Segun Toriola and Ojo Onaolapo (3 games to 2)!

But it was this AWESOME 41-shot defensive rally by Toriola, the only Nigerian in history to participate in 6 Olympic Games, in the semi-final loss to Singapore yesterday that has been doing the rounds on YouTube!

It had the British commentators (viewable here in UK only) calling it the Rally of the Tournament and of the Year! We’ve never seen anything like it – have you? 

Team Nigeria Guide to 2014 CWG Athletics – DAY 2 (Monday July 28th)

28 Jul

Here’s the full schedule of ALL Team Nigeria Athletes competing in Track & Field DAY TWO (Monday July 28th) at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. You can catch this LIVE on SuperSports 4, OR follow Making of Champions’ LIVE TWEETS and POSTS throughout the day – stay tuned!

 

Men’s 400m ROUND 1

11.32am: Heat 2 – Salihu Isah (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 49) vs Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA, C’wealth No. 4)

11.39am: Heat 3 – Noah Akwu (NGR No. 2, outside C’wealth Top 50) vs Kirani James (GRN, Olympic Champion & C’wealth No. 1)

11.46am: Heat 4 – Robert Simmons (American – never competed for Nigeria previously! C’wealth No. 18)

 

Women’s 100m SEMI-FINAL

7.17pm: SF 2 – Gloria Asumnu (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 13) vs Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM No. 1, C’wealth No. 2)

7.24pm: SF 3 – BLESSING OKAGBARE (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 3) vs Kerron Stewart (JAM No. 4, C’wealth No. 6)

See Making of Champions’ women’s 100m Commonwealth rankings and analysis here!

 

Men’s 100m SEMI-FINAL

7.35pm: SF 1 – Ogho-Oghene Egwero (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 45) vs Nickel Ashmeade (JAM No. 2, C’wealth No. 5) & Simon Magakwe (RSA & Africa No. 1, C’wealth No. 6)

7.42pm: SF 2 – Mark Jelks (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 30) vs Adam Gemili (ENG, C’wealth No. 15)

7.49pm: SF 3 – Monzavous  Edwards (NGR No. 3, C’wealth No. 64) vs Richard Thompson (TTO, C’wealth No. 1) & Akani Simbine (RSA, C’wealth No. 10)

See Making of Champions’ men’s 100m Commonwealth rankings and analysis here!

 

Women’s 400m SEMI-FINAL

8.15pm: SF 1 – Omolara Omotosho (NGR No. 3, C’wealth N0. 14) vs Stephenie Ann McPherson (JAM No. 3, C’wealth No. 4)

8.22pm: SF 2 – Folashade Abugan (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 7) vs Christine Day (JAM No. 2, C’wealth No. 2) & Kineke Alexander (VIN, C’wealth No. 8)

8.29pm: SF 3 – Regina George (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 11) vs Amantle Monstho (BOT, C’wealth No. 3, DEFENDING CHAMPION) & Novlene Williams-Mills (JAM, C’wealth No. 1)

See Making of Champions’ women’s 400m Commonwealth rankings and analysis here!

 

Women’s 100m FINAL @ 9.35pm – BLESSING OKAGBARE and Gloria Asumnu contest the Semi-Finals earlier!

Men’s 100m FINAL @ 9.50pm – Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Mark Jelks and Monzavous Edwards all contest the Semi-Finals earlier!

Another American, Robert Simmons, switches allegiances to Team Nigeria @ Commonwealth Games

28 Jul

Watch out for the first ever appearance 25-year-old American Robert Simmons in Nigeria’s colours in the 400 metres at 11.46am – it is unlcear when and how Simmons switched allegiance to Team Nigeria, considering that he did not appear at the National Trials in Calabar in June, which should have served as the qualifiers for the Commonwealth Games. Omeiza Akerele finished 3rd at the trials but was part of Nigeria’s team at the World Junior Championships which just concluded in the US yesterday, so perhaps the decision was made for him to compete there instead!

For anyone arriving late to this party, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Nigeria’s new American recruits, who largely dominated proceedings at the Nigerian Trials in June, particularly regarding their eligibility for the Green Passport of Nigeria, and whether they are good enough to win global medals for Nigeria. According to Simmons’ IAAF Profile, he has a PB of 45.19s set this season, which places him 18th amongst Commowealth Athletes this season, suggesting that though he is an improvement on Nigeria’s current quarter-milers who have struggled to break 46 seconds for some time now, he is unlikely to win a medal at these Games.

The question on his eligibility for the Nigerian passport is another one altogether. We will update you when we found out more about his switch!

 

Men’s 400m ROUND 1 TODAY

11.32am – Heat 2 – Salihu Isah (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 49) vs Wayde Van Niekerk (RSA, C’wealth No. 4)

11.39am – Heat 3 – Noah Akwu (NGR No. 2, outside C’wealth Top 50) vs Kirani James (GRN, Olympic Champion & C’wealth No. 1)

11.46am – Heat 4 – Robert Simmons (American – never competed for Nigeria previously! C’wealth No. 18)

Robbert Simmons, formerly of Team USA, now of Team Nigeria!

Robbert Simmons, formerly of Team USA, now of Team Nigeria!

Nigeria in bright start as Athletics takes center stage in Glasgow!

27 Jul

Eight out of the nine athletes representing Nigeria on the first day of Athletics at the Commonwealth Games secured their places in the semi-finals of their respective events on Sunday. In Heat 1 of the women’s 100m, Gloria Asumnu finished second in 11.43s and qualified for the semis behind Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown who led with 11.29s, while Blessing Okagbare dominated Heat 5 with a time of 11.20s and was followed by England’s Asha Philip (11.47s). Home-based athlete Justina Sule was the only casualty on Day One as she finished a distant sixth in Heat 4 with in a time of just 12.00s, more than half a second down from her PB of 11.49s, which she set in Calabar in June.

Asumnu will once again race against Campbell-Brown in the semis on Monday in Heat 2, and will have a good chance of reaching the 100m final if she gets close to her Season’s best of 11.15s. Meanwhile, 100m African record holder, Okagbare will go head to head against Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart in Heat 3. Okagbare looked supremely comfortable in her Heat and is strongly favoured to scale the semi-final and contest for a medal in final, also taking place on Monday!

In the men’s category, Mark Jelks started on a winning note in his debut for Nigeria as he won Heat 3 in 10.28s and qualified for the semis alongside Warren Fraser from the Bahamas (10.31s) and Trinidad & Tobago’s Richard Thompson, the Commonwealth No. 1.this year whom was surprisingly beaten into 3rd with 10.33s. England’s Adam Gemili was the fastest athlete in Round 1, winning Heat 6 in 10.15s, and was followed by runner-up in the National Trials, Monzavous Edwards, also making his first appearance for Nigeria, having recently obtained the green passport. The 33-year old qualified for the semis in a time of 10.40s. Former national champion, Ogho-Oghene Egwero was not left out as he posted 10.38s to move on to the next round along with South Africa’s Akani Simbine who topped Heat 8 with a time of 10.32s.

In the semi-finals, Jelks and Edwards swap their opponents from the 1st Round – Jelks, Nigeria’s current 100m champion, will have his work cut out for him as he takes on Adam Gemili in the semis on Monday, while Edwards will need to make a remarkable improvement if he is to get past Richard Thompson who has an SB of 9.82s. Egwero will go against Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade and another South African, Simon Magakwe, in the semi-finals. Magakwe is the fastest African in the 100m this year with an SB of 9.98s while Egwero has posted a time of 10.18s.

In the women’s 400m, the trio of Regina George, Folashade Abugan and Omolara Omotosho all qualified from the heats to the next round of the competition. Coincidentally, all three athletes finished second in their respective heats. George who competed in Heat 1 returned a time of 53.92s, while Omotosho posted a faster time of 53.02s behind Jamaica’s Stephenie McPherson who led with 52.25s in Heat 4. National champion Abugan trailed behind reigning Commonwealth champion, Amantle Montsho in 52.54s in Heat 5. Montsho looks ready to defend her title as she ran posted the fastest time in the heats, 51.88s.

Abugan faces stiff competition in Monday’s semi-finals, as she will be contending with Christine Day of Jamaica who has run the second fastest time in the Commonwealth this year (50.16s), while compatriot, Omotosho will compete against McPherson who has posted an SB of 50.40s. Two-time national champion Regina George finds herself in a STACKED semi-final that includes TWO of the current  heavyweights in her event, Botswana’s Montsho and Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills, who is ranked No 1 in the Commonwealth this year with 50.05s.

Regina will likely have to do something special (or at least run a fast time to qualify as a fastest loser) to justify her inclusion in the individual 400m in place of namesake (no relation) Patience Okon George who finished above her at the Nigerian Trials in June – watch this space!

 

Team Nigeria Guide to 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletics – DAY 1 (Sunday July 27th)

27 Jul

Here’s the full schedule of ALL Team Nigeria Athletes competing in Track & Field DAY ONE (Sunday July 27th) at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. You can catch this LIVE on SuperSports 4, OR follow Making of Champions’ LIVE TWEETS and POSTS throughout the day – stay tuned!

Men’s 100m ROUND 1

2.51pm – Heat 3 – Mark Jelks (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 30) vs Richard Thompson (TTO, C’wealth No. 1)

3.12pm – Heat 6 – Monzavous  Edwards (NGR No. 3, C’wealth No. 64) vs Adam Gemili (ENG, C’wealth No. 15) & Darrel Brown (TTO, C’wealth No. 17)

3.26pm – Heat 8 – Ogho-Oghene Egwero (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 45) vs Akani Simbine (RSA, C’wealth No. 10) & Aaron Brown (CAN, C’wealth No. 20)

See Making of Champions’ men’s 100m Commonwealth rankings and analysis here!

 

Women’s 100m ROUND 1

3.55pm – Heat 1 – Gloria Asumnu (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 13) vs Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM No. 1, C’wealth No. 2)

4.14pm – Heat 4 – Justina Sule (NGR No. 3) vs Michelle Lee-Ahye (TTO, C’wealth No. 1)

4.23pm – Heat 5 – BLESSING OKAGBARE (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 3). Others include England’s Asha Philip…

See Making of Champions’ women’s 100m Commonwealth rankings and analysis here!

 

Women’s 400m ROUND 1

4.55pm – Heat 1 – Regina George (NGR No. 2, C’wealth No. 11)

5.16pm – Heat 4 – Omolara Omotosho (NGR No. 3, C’wealth N0. 14) vs Stephenie Ann McPherson (JAM No. 3, C’wealth No. 4)

5.23pm – Heat 5 – Folashade Abugan (NGR No. 1, C’wealth No. 7) vs Amantle Monstho (C’wealth No. 3, DEFENDING CHAMPION)

See Making of Champions’ women’s 400m Commonwealth rankings and analysis here!

 

Nigerian quartet in uphill battle for individual 400m medals, but look good in the 4x400m!

27 Jul

Nigeria’s quartet of Folasade Abugan, Regina George, Omolara Omotosho and Patience Okon George have become a formidable  force in the 4x400m relay, following their  heroics at the maiden IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas in May where the team scooped the country’s only medal (Bronze) of the competition.

That said, their chances of winning global medals in the individual 400m, starting with the Commonwealth Games this week, might yet prove challenging going by current statistics, although the possibility of at least one of them staging an upset cannot be totally ruled out. Abugan (SB 51.21s), who dethroned Regina George as national champion in June, is the highest ranked of the quartet in amongst Commonwealth Athletes this year in 7th, while Okon George (51.29s), Regina George (51.30s) and Omotosho (51.56s) occupy the 10th, 11th and 14th spots respectively in the 2014 Commonwealth ratings.

2014 CWG Womens 400 list copy

The athlete to beat in the women’s 400m will likely be Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills (SB 50.05s), number one in the Commonwealth this year, and dominant on the Diamond League circuit earlier this season, before USA’s McCorory and Richards-Ross took over and are the only athletes in the world to break 50 seconds this season. With USA not competing here, Williams-Mills stiffest should come from none other than reigning African and Commonwealth champion, Amantle Montsho from Botswana who will be here to defend her title. Montsho, a former world champion has the third fastest time (50.37s) amongst Commonwealth Athletes, with Jamaica’s Christine Day (50.16) and Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.40s).

With 3 of the top 4 Commonwealth Athletes this year, the Jamaican’s look an extremely good bet for 4x400m Relay GOLD as they rule the Commonwealth standings with 3.23.26 from the World Relays, with the Nigerian quartet looking good for the Silver after posting an SB of 2.23.41 in the Bahamas as well, Nigeria’s 3rd fastest quartet in history, and the fastest by any Nigerian Quartet since the Falilat Ogunkoya-led team of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

That notswithstanding, they would have to watch out for Team England who could be out to spring a surprise on their ‘home turf’, despite world champion, Christine Ohuruogu’s fitness battles. Ohuruogu, the former Olympic champion, is still the highest ranked Briton this season with 51.66 in 15th while her England teammates Anyika Onuora (51.78s), Emily Diamond (51.95s) and Shana Cox (52.11s) are 18th, 22nd and 24th respectively in the Commonwealth standings – don’t count them out just yet!

STOP PRESS: We have just gathered that the THREE from the Nigerian quartet who will compete in the individual 400m are Regina George, Omotosho and Abugan – their heats are coming up TODAY (Sunday) at 4.55pm, 5.16pm and 5.23pm respectively – the latter two will face McPherson and Montsho head one – don’t miss them! Commiserations to Okon George who is actually Nigeria’s N0. 2 this year but misses out on competing in the individual event (we hope the selectors made the best decision)! Undoubtedly she’ll be back for the Relays later in the week!

MoC PREDICTION: ALL THREE Nigerian girls competing can make the final, and we expect at least TWO of them to do it. Which TWO? Difficult to say, Abugan as the Nigerian Champion seems the surest bet, while Regina George desperately needs to find her last year’s form to reach the final and justify her inclusion in the individual 400m, despite finishing only 4th at the Nigerian Trials. We expect a JAM-BOT-JAM 1-2-3 in the final, but hopefully one of our girls can spring a surprise and snatch a medal!

In the 4x400m Relay later in the week, it will be all about Jamaica vs Nigeria! Jamaica’s are certainly favourites for the GOLD, but considering how close Team Nigeria ran them at the World Relays, the GOLD is certainly not too far for our girls to reach for. If Christine Ohuruogu is anywhere near back to here best form, she should help Team England to the Bronze!

 

Okagbare faces stiff test for 100m Commonwealth GOLD, Asumnu is a possible finalist!

26 Jul

Exactly 20 years ago, one of the country’s most outstanding athletes, Mary Onyali returned a time of 11.06secs to win the women’s 100m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, and Nigeria’s sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare will be aiming for same as Athletics takes off in Glasgow on Sunday.

However, Okagbare, who is the nation’s brightest prospect at the games, will have her work cut out for her as she goes head-to-head with Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye and Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown in a bid to secure her first Commonwealth Games title two decades after a Nigerian last won the crown.

Compatriot, Damola Osayomi won the 100m in Delhi four years ago but had to be stripped of the medal and banned after her doping test came back positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine, while Natasha Mayers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was elevated to first position.

Okagbare recently ran a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.97secs at the Monaco Diamond League, but Ahye is unbeaten in the 100m this season, as is  USA’s Tori Bowie, who currently World Leader this year with 10.80secs. Ahye tops the Commonwealth ranking with the world’s second fastest time of 10.85s, while Campbell-Brown follows closely with 10.86s:

2014 CWG Womens 100 list copy

Even though Okagbare comes to the competition with the third fastest time, she could still storm to gold at the Hampden Park on Monday if she is able to rediscover the form that saw her lower the African 100m record to 10.79s – that time would almost certainly claim GOLD but given that Blessing has been concentrating on the 200 metres this season, this might have had an effect on both her speed and her confidence to claim the 100m crown!

Fellow Nigerian Gloria Asumnu also looks like a good bet for the 100m final as she occupies the 13th position in Commonwealth with a time of 11.15secs – even though EIGHT of the athletes ahead of her are Jamaican, only 3 of them can compete at the Games!

MoC PREDICTION: Our heart say GOLD for Blessing, but our head says it will be Silver or Bronze in the 100 metres. Gloria will do well to get to the final, but a medal will be out of her reach, unless she can run a PB and go under 11 seconds.

The good news is, with these two in our 4x100m team, they should be in good shape for a Relay medal next weekend! (Silver or Bronze – Jamaica will get the GOLD, unless they drop the baton or are disqualified)!

 

Nigeria’s American Athletes – Are they good enough to win Commonwealth Medals?

26 Jul

There has been much controversy and talk since June at the Nigerian Trials for the Commonwealth Games, which heralded a new era of American Athletes with little or no clear lineage from Nigeria attending and dominating at those National Championships. While there has been widespread disapproval by some former Nigerian Olympians and local coaches of this new practice of recruiting Americans to represent Nigeria, there has also been a lingering school of thought which has followed the reasoning that, surely if they are better than what we have at home, they should be allowed to represent Nigeria? IF they can win medals for Team Nigeria at international competitions, then why not?

Well, here at MAKING OF CHAMPIONS we have crunched some very interesting numbers, to show you exactly what chance (IF ANY) our new American recruits have of winning medals at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where the Athletics programme is kicking off tomorrow. We have EXCLUSIVELY put together 2014 Commonwealth Athlete rankings to analyse Nigeria’s medal chances in FOUR events that our new Athletes will be competing in – the men’s 100m, 200m, 11om Hurdles, and the women’s 100m Hurdles!

Today, we analyse the chances of Nigeria’s current 100m  Champion, 30-year-old Mark Jelks, and runner-up in both 100m and 200m at the Nigerian trials, 33-year-old Monzavous Edwards, both of whom recently switched allegiances from Team USA to Team Naija. Have they improved Nigeria’s mens sprint pool?

*Divine Oduduru ran a wind-assisted 20.25s (2.3m/s) to win Silver at World Juniors in Eugene on July 25th 2014. Had the wind not been above the 2.0m/s limit for records, he would place 11th in the 200m list!

*Divine ran a wind-assisted 20.25s (2.3 m/s) to win Silver at World Juniors in Eugene on July 25th 2014. Had the wind not been above the 2 m/s limit for records, he would place 11th in the 200m list!

Despite the fact that Jelks is CURRENTLY faster than anyone else on Team Nigeria in the 100 metres, he only places 30th among Commonwealth Athletes in 2014 – ahead of him are EIGHT Jamaicans, SEVEN Brits, FOUR Trinadadians, TWO South Africans, TWO from St Kitts & Nevis and one each from four other countries. Even when you take into account that each country can only enter three athletes per event, it becomes very apparent that Jelks may well struggle to reach the Commonwealth 100m final, let alone win a medal! The odds of Edwards reaching the 100m final are even much slimmer – he’s only ranked 64th amongst Commonwealth athletes this year, and would be very difficult the argue that he is an upgrade from the likes of upcoming 22 year old Seye Ogunlewe, and former Nigerian Champions Egwero and Metu.

Mark 'Amuju' Jelks, 2014 Nigerian 100m Champion, recently switched allegiances from Team USA

Mark ‘Amuju’ Jelks, 2014 Nigerian 100m Champion, recently switched allegiances from Team USA

The emergence of Divine Oduduru with a World Junior Silver in the 200 metres in a stunning wind-assisted time of 20.25s also further calls into question the necessity (or indeed the wisdom) of recruiting older Americans to represent Nigeria. Oduduru, who could be representing Nigeria for another ten years or more, had already comfortably beaten 33-year-old Edwards at the Nigeria Trials with a time of 20.87s to 21.34s, a time that does not even rank Edwards in the top 100 in the Commonwealth for 200 metres this year – indeed only one year in his whole career did he run faster than 20.40s (he has a 20.17s PB from 2009). It would be surprising to see Edwards make it out of Round 1 in Glasgow, if he indeed attempts the 200 metres this week. There are already calls for Oduduru to be flown directly from Glasgow to Eugene to compete in the 200 metres which starts on Wednesday, so that Nigeria could have a decent showing in the event!

Monzavous 'Jolomi' Edwards, recently switched allegiances from Team USA, and placed second in the 100 metres at the 2014 Nigerian Trials

Monzavous ‘Jolomi’ Edwards, recently switched allegiances from Team USA, and placed second in the 100 metres at the 2014 Nigerian Trials

Finally, given all the countries listed above who have TWO or more athletes in the 100m Top 30 (Jamaica, England, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, St Kitts & Nevis) and even the Bahamas who has THREE in the top 35, we have to say that it is also rather unlikely that Nigeria will get a medal in the men’s 4x100m Relay next weekend, and the presence of the Americans does absolutely nothing to change that…

MoC PREDICTIONS for the men’s sprints:

Men’s 100 metres – Jelks could scrape into the 100m final in Glasgow, but a semi-final outing is most likely. Egwero & Edwards should reach the Semis too, but one of them may fall in the first round!

Men’s 200 metres – Edwards will not make it out of the first round, especially if he has contested the 100 metres already. Oduduru could possibly make the Semis, but will also fall in the 1st round IF he doesn’t arrive in Glasgow well ahead of Wednesday to get some much needed rest.

Men’s 4×100 metres – With or without the Americans in the squad, Team Nigeria should reach the final, but without some unexpected baton drops or lane infringements from 2 or 3 countries ahead of us, don’t expect a medal. Stranger things have happened we suppose, so one can still hope!

MoC VERDICT: The American recruits have NOT sufficiently improved Nigeria’s mens sprint pool to really justify their inclusion. We will stand corrected if they are able to prove our predictions wrong in the coming days!

 

 

 

Chika Amalaha wins Nigeria’s 1st GOLD at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Weightlifting!

26 Jul
Chika Amalaha of Nigeria competes in the Women's 53kg Group A Weightlifting at the Scottish Exhibition And Conference Centre at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 25, 2014 (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Chika Amalaha of Nigeria competes in the Women’s 53kg Category Weightlifting at the Scottish Exhibition And Conference Centre at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 25, 2014 (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Chika Amalaha on Friday won gold for Nigeria in the women’s 53kg weightlifting category at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. African champion Amalaha snatched a best of 85kg to set a new Games record before managing 111kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 196kg to win Nigeria’s second medal after Nkechi Opara won bronze in the 48kg on Thursday. Papua New Guinea’s Dika Toua took silver at the Clyde Auditorium with 193kg (82+111), with India’s Santoshi Matsa claiming bronze with 188kg (83+105).

(L-R) Silver medalist Dika Toua of Papa New Guinea, Gold medalist Chika Amalaha of Nigeria and Bronze medalist Santoshi Matsu of India after the Women's 53kg Group A Weightlifting  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(L-R) Silver medalist Dika Toua of Papa New Guinea, Gold medalist Chika Amalaha of Nigeria and Bronze medalist Santoshi Matsu of India after the Women’s 53kg Category Weightlifting
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Amalaha was delighted with her win, and spoke to the press afterwards on her elation at claiming the GOLD: “I’m absolutely delighted,” said Amalaha. “I wasn’t coming here to go for gold; I just wanted to break my own record. I’m so happy that I’m going home with gold in my first Commonwealth Games. I started at the age of 12, but my family were strongly against me doing the sport at first. They kept me telling to stop doing it, but I persuaded them by getting a female coach. From then on, it was hard work, training, a lot of pain and dedication that got me here today. And now my family were in the audience and they are so excited and so proud.”

(L-R) Silver medalist Dika Toua of Papa New Guinea, Gold medalist Chika Amalaha of Nigeria and Bronze medalist Santoshi Matsu of India after the Women's 53kg Group A Weightlifting  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

(L-R) Silver medalist Dika Toua of Papa New Guinea, Gold medalist Chika Amalaha of Nigeria and Bronze medalist Santoshi Matsu of India after the Women’s 53kg Group A Weightlifting
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

 

 

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