Tag Archives: IAAF Continental Cup

Team Nigeria to spearhead Africa’s 4x100m medal hopes @ Continental Cup

12 Sep

Nigeria’s GOLD winning team in the men’s 4x100m relay at the 2014 African Senior Championships in Marrakech are the sole bearers of Team Africa’s hopes in the event at the IAAF Continental Cup holding in Morocco this weekend.

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This season has been a long one for the team which participated first at the IAAF World Relays in May without a medal, and then the Commonwealth Games where they ran alongside world leaders, Jamaica in the heats and final. National 100m champion, Mark Jelks anchored the team to second position in the heats, just behind Jamaica which had the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt in action. They eventually finished a sixth in a final which was won by the Jamaicans in a scorching 37.58s.

It was an entirely different story at the African Championships as the Nigerian quartet comprising of Ogho-Oghene Egwero (No. 90 in the world this season with 10.18s), Monzavous Edwards (No. 78), Obinna Metu (No. 173 with 10.28s) and Jelks (No. 35) who was the anchor once again, dominated the event by clocking a Season’s Best (SB) of 38.80s ahead of Ghana (39.28s) and the Algerian team which sprinted to a National Record (NR) of 39.89s.

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Jelks and Edwards finished second and third respectively in the men’s 100m with SBs of 10.07s and 10.16s respectively, while the title was won by Cote d’Ivoire’s Hua Wilfried Koffi with an NR and Personal Best (PB) of 10.05s. However the 4x100m team would be without the services of Koffi who will focus on the sprint double at the forthcoming event. The Nigerian team is 34th on the 2014 IAAF 4x100m Relay rankings.

The Americas team comes with an intimidating CV, having the likes of Richard Thompson (No. 2 with 9.82s), Michael Rodgers (No. 4 with 9.91s), Jamaica’s Nesta Carter (No. 8 with 9.96s) and veteran Kim Collins (No. 8 with 9.96s). All four athletes have done a sub-10 this season and are certainly the team to beat – it will be interesting to see how they do with their baton exchanges, given that the quadrennial continental cup is the only major competition that could see these sprinters of different nations competing on the same team!

European champions, Team GB, will represent the continent in Marrakech. They won the continental crown in a very strong 37.93s. It comprises of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (No. 40 with 10.08s), James Ellington (No. 59 with 12.13s), Richard Kilty (No. 51 with 10.12s) and Danny Talbot (No. 87 in 10.17s) – they will be expected to put up a good fight for the podium as the team ranks second on the 2014 IAAF rankings behind Jamaica.

Asian champions and world No. 10 relay team Japan, with an SB of 38.34s, will be representing Team Asian-Pacific and is made up of Masaharu Mori, Masafumi Naoki, Yu Onabuta, Kazuma Oseto (No. 141 with 10.25s) and Kotaro Taniguchi. Amongst the four teams, it would seem that Team Africa are the underdogs, give them times each team has run this season, so it will be interesting to see if they can cause an upset!

 

The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th & 14th), and Team Nigeria will be representing Africa in the men’s 4x100m on Saturday Sept 13th at 9.55pm!

Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm!

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Dominique Duncan goes head-to-head with Schippers, Soumaré in 200m @ Continental Cup!

12 Sep

Team Nigeria’s Dominique Duncan is set to take her place amongst some of the world’s best athletes in the women’s 200m as the IAAF Continental Cup takes off in Morocco this weekend.

Duncan first donned the green and white colours this year, having switched allegiance from the USA, and she placed third at the National Trials with a time of 23.91s, behind Blessing Okagbare (22.62s) and Gloria Asumnu (23.54s).

Her first outing for Nigeria was at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she competed in the 200m and 4x100m relay. She missed out on an appearance in the final of the 200m but took silver in the relay with the team, which finished behind Jamaica in the final with a time of 42.92s.

She was at the African Championships in Marrakech a week later, where she claimed her first continental title in the relays, then comfortably led her heat in the 200m. She finished second behind Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie J Ta Lou in the semis, clocking 23.44s, and qualified for the final alongside team mates, defending champion, Gloria Asumnu and Regina George.

The race was a battle for superiority between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire’s duo of Ta Lou and double silver medallist at the 2013 World Championships, Murielle Ahouré. However it turned out to be 1-2 for the Ivoirians, with Ahouré taking the win in 22.36s, while Duncan was the surprise medallist from the Nigerian camp, winning bronze in 22.98s. Asumnu and George placed fifth and sixth respectively.

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She said, “This medal is a victory for the team. Some may have thought that I didn’t stand a chance against Ahouré, but you always have to believe. You speak into existence and it happens. I was trying to get up here to get a medal that I can take home and I’m pretty pleased with it. The Continental Cup means more training; it’s just a mental thing and you need to be prepared for it.”

She is ranked No. 31 in the world with a Season’s Best (SB) of 22.82s, while teammate, Ta Lou, incidentally, is five places lower with 22.87s. 

World No. 2 and European double sprint champion, Dafne Schippers (22.03s) of the Netherlands is the standout athlete to watch out for, along with Myriam Soumaré (No. 3) who posted a scorching Personal Best (PB) of 22.11s at the final leg of the IAAF Diamond League in Brussels. Joanna Atkins (No. 7 with 22.27s) and Team Americas partner, Anthonique Strachan (No. 12 with 22.50s) are also key contenders in the race. Their Asian-Pacific rivals comprise of Olga Safronova, (No. 34) with 22.85s, while Melissa Breen is further down at the 158th spot (23.37s).

 

The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th & 14th), and Dominique Duncan will be representing Team Africa in the women’s 200m on Sunday Sept 14th at 7.35pm!

Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm!

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African Long Jump Champion Ese Brume squares up to World No.1 @ Continental Cup

12 Sep

Two years ago, the name Ese Brume barely rang a bell. The Delta State athlete has made tremendous progress since her 2012 National Sports Festival (NSF) win and has now been catapulted into international reckoning as she goes against the world’s best athletes at the forthcoming IAAF Continental Cup this weekend, where she will be representing Team Africa in the women’s long jump.

The young athlete has garnered an enviable collection of titles and records, ranging from the African junior and senior titles, record holder in the African junior event, national champion and Commonwealth gold medallist! She finished second behind Okagbare at the National Trials in 2013 and stepped up to the position of national champion this year with a Personal Best of 6.68m in Calabar.

Brume experienced a setback at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon in July, where she failed to make it out of the qualifying rounds with a jump of 5.18m, despite coming to the championship as favourite for the crown. But she blew her fans away with an impressive comeback at the Commonwealth Games, leading the field with a leap of 6.56m and brushing aside threats from her more experienced rivals.She came to the African Championships in Marrakech as the favoured athlete and she didn’t disappoint as Nigeria made it a 1-2 in the event, with team mate Chinazom Amadi finishing second with 6.40m while Brume struck gold with a jump of 6.50m.

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She comes to the IAAF Continental Cup with Cameroun’s Joelle Mbumi who has a Season’s Best (SB) of 6.35m, which puts her at No. 133 on the IAAF 2014 Rankings while the Nigerian is No. 25. Brume told Making of Champions that she’s excited about competing in her first Continental Cup: “I’m looking forward to doing better at the IAAF Continental Cup where I will represent the continent. My dream is to become the world’s best”, she said.             

And so she will be going against the world’s best athlete in 2014 and IAAF Diamond League winner, Tianna Bartoletta of the USA (7.02m). Canadian Christabel Nettey who won bronze behind Brume in Glasgow will also compete in the Americas team. She is No. 19 in the rankings with a distance of 6.73m. Winner of the Zurich leg of the Diamond league series and world No. 3, Eloyse Lesueur (6.92m) and European Championships silver medallist, Ivana Spanovic (No. 8 with 6.88m) will be competing as well. They will be joined by the Asian-Pacific team comprising of Australia’s Margaret Gayen (No. 31 with 6.62m) and Lu Minjia (No. 41, 6.57m).

The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th & 14th), and Ese Brume will be representing Team Africa in the women’s long jump on Sunday Sept 14th from 7.40pm!

Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm!

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Tyron Akins leads Team Africa against strong 110m Hurdles field @ Continental Cup!

11 Sep

Nigerian and African 110m Hurdles champion, Tyron Akins, will face the world’s best hurdlers in Marrakech as the IAAF Continental Cup takes center stage this weekend.

Akins, who recently switched allegiances from Team USA to Nigeria, emerged national 110 hurdles champion at the National Trials in Calabar in June and has not looked back since. The Continental Cup will become the third international outing for the hurdler who is keen on maintaining his winning streak.

His first appearance for Nigeria was at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he missed out on the finals, finishing seventh in the heats with 13.77s. However Tyrone more than made up for this disappointment by leading teammates Alex Al-Ameen and Martins Ogierakhi in a clean sweep of all the medals at stake in the 110 hurdles at the African Championships last month.

He posted a time of 13.57s, while Al-Ameen and Ogierakhi clocked 13.78s and 13.80s respectively. The last time Nigeria won the 110m hurdles was in 1996 when national record holder in the event, William Erese mounted the podium in Yaounde, Cameroun!

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After the race, an excited Akins said, “Well I feel good because our goal when we were coming here was 1-2-3. We never said Tyron you win, and this guy second or any of that. It was strictly 1-2-3. We were going to push each other like we always do. I knew I had a pretty good start so those guys know I was going to get out of the blocks, so once I get out, you come with me and we gonna be good to go.

“I know that these guys are going to come towards the end. Martins is a strong competitor so he’s going to be there all through the race. Our goal was accomplished; it was 1-2-3. It could have gone either way; he could have won, we could have run 14s as long as Nigeria won the medals, that was what we were worried about but the focus was 1-2-3.”

Despite an unprecedented 1-2-3 finish in Marrakech however, Akins will be without his Nigerian teammates at the Continental Cup, where athletes from the same nation cannot represent their continent in the same event. Instead he will partner with South Africa’s Ruan De Vries who finished fourth at the African Championships. Akins’ Season’s Best of 13.56s puts him at  63rd  in the world rankings this year, while the South African follows ten places after with a time of 13.62s.

Leading the Americas team is World No.3, Ronnie Ash of the USA who is the only sub-13s performer in the field (12.99s). Cuba’s Yodan O’Farrill is No.10 with 13.19s. Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov (13.13s) is world No.5 this year and finished 2nd in the IAAF Diamond League standings after Pascal Martinot-Lagarde who amassed 27points.  William Sharman of Team GB is No.7 with a time of 13.16s, while No.14, Xie Wenjun of China (13.23s) and Abdulaziz Al-Mandeel (63rd) would represent the Asian-Pacific interest.

The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th & 14th), and Tyron Akins will be representing Team Africa in the men’s 110m hurdles on Sunday Sept 14th at 6.45pm!

Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm

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Chinwe Okoro set to represent Team Africa in discus and shot put @ Continental Cup!

9 Sep

National discus champion, Chinwe Okoro, who won the African title last month with a Personal Best (PB) and Championship Record (CR) of 59.79m, will represent Team Africa at the IAAF Continental Cup in Marrakech in both the discus and shot put, after also getting an African Championship medal in the latter – a Silver. 

It was a 1-2 for Nigeria at the discus event at the Africa Championships, as teammate Nwanneka Okwelogu followed with 51.66m, but Morocco’s Amina Elmoudeen, who placed 3rd with a throw of 48.21m will be Okoro’s teammate at the Continental Cup on September 13 and 14, as two people of the same nation cannot represent the continent in the same event.

Speaking after her victory in Marrakech, Chinwe made no secret of the fact that she hopes to send more records tumbling in the near future: “It was my best performance, and my next goal is to realize the best record in the next competitions,” she said. Okoro’s throw in Marrakech makes her 42nd in the world this year, and she will be looking to break that 60m barrier at the Continental Cup!

The woman to beat will undoubtedly be reigning European, World and Olympic champion, Sandra Perkovic (SB 71.08m), who won the 2014 Diamond Race, after dominating all but one of the seven meets for the discus. The world leader, along with France’s Melina Robert-Michon (world No. 12 with 65.51m) make up Team Europe. 

The duo of Gia Lewis-Smallwood (No. 2 with 69.17s) and Yaime Perez (No. 8 with 66.03m) will represent Team Americas, while Dani Samuels of Australia (No. 3 with 67.99m) and China’s Yang Yanbo (No. 20 with 63.31m) complete the field for Team Asia.

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In the shot put, Valerie Adams will be the woman to beat. She is the reigning world indoor and outdoor, Commonwealth and Olympic Champion, as well as defending champion of the Continental Cup. Adams won the Diamond Race last week in Brussels with a world lead of 20.59m. She and World No.4, Gong Lijiao of China (19.65m) are representing the Asia-Pacific.

Christina Schwanitz (No. 2) and Evgeniia Kolodko (No. 5) will compete for Team Europe, having made throws of 20.22m and 19.52m respectively this year. Schwanitz is the reigning European champion and silver medallist at the last World Indoor and outdoor championships. USA’s Michelle Carter (No. 3) with an SB of 19.80m and Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad and Tobago (No. 7) complete the field.

Okoro goes to the competition with an SB of 16.40m in the shot put, and is 108th in the world this year, while teammate and African Champion, Cameroun’s Auriol Sally Dongo (16.48m) is 76th in the world. Okoro freely admits that the discus is her preferred event, as such the African pair will no doubt benefit from the exposure that comes with competing against a top notch field!

The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th and 14th) and Chinwe Okoro will be representing Team Africa in the women’s discus on Saturday Sept 13th from 7.50pm and the shot put on Sunday Sept 14th from 6.30pm.

Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm!

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Africa’s Ogoegbunam to face Americas’ Spencer & Asia’s Adekoya in 400m Hurdles @ Continental Cup!

9 Sep

Faster times may just be around the corner for Nigeria’s Amaka Ogoegbunam who will be rubbing shoulders with the world’s best 400m hurdlers when the IAAF Continental Cup gets underway in Marrakech, Morocco on September 13th and 14th

The season has been a long one for the hurdler who came to national prominence at the 2009 National Sports Festival (NSF) where she won two gold and a silver medal including the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles. After having an injury-ravaged 2013, she has featured in most legs of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Golden League which she dominated, and her efforts paid off after emerging Nigerian Champion at the National Trials in June in Calabar, which earned her a call-up for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In Glasgow, she qualified for the final where she would have run a Personal Best (PB), but was disqualified along with South Africa’s Wenda Theron Nel. She brushed aside the disappointment with a silver medal winning performance at the African Championships. There, she led her heat in 56.49s, and the final turned out to be a defining moment in Ogoegbunam’s career as she came second behind Nel, clocking a PB of 55.46s, which places her as No.23 in the world this year. The South African is 13th with a time of 54.82s.

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Speaking with Making of Champions after her feat, Amaka gushed: “I feel so happy that I don’t know what to say. I’ve worked so hard this season, and then coming here to run a PB is massive. I am so grateful to God and my coach. I think I’m going to do much better at the Continental Cup; I just have to go and work on my technique because I believe that I can do a 54 low.”

At the Continental Cup, Ogoegbunam will be facing contenders who dominated her event at the Commonwealth Games. Top on the list is Kaliese Spencer who is the reigning Commonwealth Champion, world leader and winner of the Diamond Race Trophy. The Jamaican who comes with a Season’s Best (SB) of 53.41s virtually dominated the event this season, winning six of seven legs in the Diamond League series and amassing a massive 30 points. Spencer will be joined by world No.2, Kori Carter (53.84s) in the Americas team.

The only athlete who vanquished Spencer in the Diamond League this season in the very first race was Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya, who will also pose a formidable threat representing Team Asia. Adekoya, who switched allegiance to Bahrain under controversial circumstances, is No.7 in the world this year with a time of 54.59s, in the Doha Diamond League meet that she defeated Spencer in May. She will be joined by Australia’s Lauren Wells (world No.29) who finished in fourth place at the Commonwealth Games and has an SB of 55.69s

The European team comprises of formidable opponents as well in the persons of newly crowned European champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, Eilidh Child of Team GB who is the fourth fastest athlete this year (54.39s) and Anna Titimets of Ukraine who is sixth in the world this year with 54.56s.

 

The IAAF Continental Cup will be taking place in Marrakech, Morocco THIS WEEKEND (Sept 13th & 14th), and Amaka Ogoegbunam will be representing Team Africa in the women’s 400m Hurdles on Saturday Sept 13th at 7.15pm!

Day 1 is LIVE on SuperSport 2 from 6.20-10.10pm. Day 2 is LIVE on SuperSport 6 from 5.20-9.10pm!

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