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SPORTS UPDATE

World Athletics Championships: Nigeria men’s 100m final jinx extended to 16th year

Favour Ashe and Raymond Ekevwo’s bid to end Nigeria’s wait for a first 100m final appearance since 2007 failed to materialise as the duo did not race past the semifinal stage.

Olusoji Fasuba remains the last Nigerian sprinter to run in the final of the blue ribband event when he finished fourth in Osaka, Japan 15 years ago.

Like Enoch Adegoke did last year when he returned Nigeria to the final of the 100m event at the Olympics 25 years after Davidson Ezinwa ran in 1996 in Atlanta,

Ashe and Ekevwo were banked upon to break the World Athletics Championships jinx but could not fulfil expectations in an event the odds were heavily stacked against them.

Ashe did not recover well enough from a not too impressive start but still managed to run 10.12 seconds to place fourth ahead of African record holder Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya and Leslie Tebogo of Botswana who set a new 9.94 seconds World U20 record in the first round.

Ekevwo,for the second straight World Athletics Championships failed to go past the semis, running 10.20 seconds to place last in the first semifinal heat.

Incidentally, the 24 year old ran 10.20 seconds in Doha, Qatar three years ago to exit at the semifinal stage.

The Nigerian however did slightly better in Doha as he placed fifth in his semifinal heat.

Nigerians will now be looking forward to the 19th edition of the championships in Budapest, Hungary in 2023.

Nigeria has qualified for the men’s 100m final five times. Daniel Effiong ran in the final in 1993, followed by Olapade Adeniken in 1995 and Davidson Ezinwa in 1997.

The duo of Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu ran in the 2003 finals before Fasuba did same in 2007, achieving Nigeria’s best position in the event.

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