Nigerian Long Jumper Breaks 14-Year Medal Drought at African Championships

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– Goodness Iredia wins bronze in long jump.

– First Nigerian men’s medal since 2010.

– Jumped 7.75m, just behind gold winner.

– Emmanuel Njoku finishes fourth with 7.72m.

Goodness Iredia has won Nigeria’s first men’s long jump medal in 14 years at the African Athletics Championships after leaping to 7.75m finish in the final at the 23rd edition of the Championships in Douala, Cameroon.

The Nigerian’s mark was just 3 centimeters short of the 7.78m jump by South Africa’s Lionel Coetzee who won the gold medal.

Emmanuel Njoku, his compatriot, finished fourth in the event with a 7.72m jump.

Iredia’s medal is the first won by a Nigerian man since 2010 when Stanley Gbagbeke also won a bronze medal in Nairobi, Kenya.

This is an event Nigeria dominated in the early years of the Championships, winning eight of the first nine editions with a clean sweep of the medals in the inaugural edition in 1979 (Ajayi Agbebaku, Kayode Elegbede and Joseph Kio) and 1984 (Paul Emordi, Yusuf Alli and Joseph Kio).

Emordi (1984 and 1985), Alli (1988 and 1989) and Ayodele Aladefa ( 1990 and 1992) won it twice each with Obinna Eregbu the last Nigerian winner in 1993.

Team Nigeria Review

Team Nigeria added more medals on Day 2 of the 2024 African Championships in Douala, with two of them coming from the field events and one from the track.

The mixed 4×400 m relay team comprising Emmanuel Ojeli, Ella Onojuvwevwo, Dubem Nwachukwu, and Patience Okon-George raced to a Silver medal in a time of 3:13.72, just behind South Africa who coasted to GOLD in 3:13.12, while Botswana settled for Bronze with 3:15.93.

Defending champion in the women’s Hammer throw, Sade Olatoye won Silver this time around with her best throw of 67.72m.

Making his first appearance for Nigeria, Goodness Iredia earned the Bronze medal in the men’s Long jump, making the podium with a jump of 7.75m. His teammate, Emmanuel Njoku, finished 4th with a jump of 7.72m. Lionel Coetzee won GOLD with 7.78m.

Iredia becomes the first male Nigerian long jumper to win an African Championships medal after Stanley Gbagbeke won Bronze at the 2010 edition of the championships in Nairobi.

Nigerian men’s 100m Champion Kayinsola Ajayi narrowly missed out a podium placement, finishing 4th (10.20s) in the final. The NCAA Bronze medallist had initially clocked 10.07s to place 2nd in his semi final race while Usheoritse Itsekiri missed out on the final, having placed 3rd (10.29s) in his semifinal race.

African Games multiple medallist Olayinka Olajide finished 7th in the women’s 100m final with 11.55s. Favour Ofili and Rosemary Chukwuma both Did Not Start (DNS) in the semis.

Making her debut appearance for Nigeria, Adaobi Tabugbo raced in the women’s 100m Hurdles final where she placed 5th.

Samuel Ogazi, Dubem Amene, Chidi Okezie and Esther Elo Joseph all advanced to the men’s and women’s 400m final. In the first 400-meter semi-final, Amene finished 3rd with a time of 45.83s, just ahead of teammate Okezie, who came in 4th with 45.96s. Ogazi won the second semi-final heat with a time of 45.44s.

Joseph came in second behind South Africa’s Miranda Coetzee in her 400m semifinal heat, qualifying for the final with a time of 52.26s.

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