Nigerian Record holder in the men’s Shot put Chukwuebuka Enekwechi defended his African Championships title in style by erasing his previous Championship Record (CR) of 21.08m set at Asaba 2018, replacing it with a Season’s Best (SB) and new record of 21.20m to win Nigeria’s fifth gold medal of the competition.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games Silver medallist opened his account with an effort of 20.21m, following it up with a throw of 20.11m. He went further with marks of 20.29m and 20.46m respectively, and then produced his winning distance of 21.20m on his fifth attempt.
South Africa’s Kyle Blignaut took the Silver with a mark of 20.60m as Mohamed Magdy of Egypt settled for Bronze with 20.33m. The second Nigerian listed in the event, Dotun Ogundeji, finished 4th with a throw of 19.11m.
Meanwhile, Mike Edwards became the first Nigerian man to win an African Championships medal in the men’s High Jump since the 1996 edition in Yaounde when National Record (NR) holder, Anthony Idiata, won Silver with a distance of 2.16m.
Edwards claimed his first-ever medal for the country with a clearance of 2.15m to also win Silver, bringing his second appearance at the African Championships to a fitting end. He narrowly lost the gold medal to Algeria’s Hichem Bouhanoune on count back, with South Africa’s Mpho Links settling for Bronze, also with the same mark of 2.15m.
The 31-year-old Nigerian will definitely relish his historic medal, considering he finished outside the medal zone in 4th at Asaba 2018 with the same jump of 2.15m. His Personal Best (PB) of 2.25m is only 2cm shy of Idiata’s NR which has stood for 24 years.