Nigeria emerge champion at Africa Junior Athletics Championships

Tatleticseam Nigeria are the overall winners at the 11th African Junior Championships in Athletics which ended in Mauritius on Sunday. Nigeria won the championships with nine gold, seven silver and three bronze medals to push arch rivals, South Africa, who amassed seven gold, nine silver and eight bronze medals, to second place.

Ethiopia finished third with seven gold, seven silver and eight bronze medals, while Egypt were fourth with five gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

Fifteen countries were represented in the overall medals table out of the 36 countries that attended the championships. Zimbabwe were last in the table with one bronze medal.

On the final day of competition, Nigeria won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal to seal victory. Nigeria attended the competitions with 26 athletes and nine officials.

Nkiruka Uwakwe was the tournament’s best after winning the 200m gold on Sunday in 24.21seconds to bring her tally to three gold medals at the championships. She was part of Nigeria’s 4x100m relay team that won gold and was also in the 4x400m gold-winning team.

Ese Brume also got adequate attention at the championships after winning gold in the girls’ 4x100m relay before picking another gold in the long jump event on Saturday. However, she failed in the triple jump where she finished second behind Lerato Sechele of Lesotho.

The Director General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye has congratulated the team for their success in Mauritius. He said, “This is the beginning of many good things to come as regards Nigerian sports. I congratulate the athletes and officials that have done us proud at the championships. With this feat, the athletes have opened the way for Nigeria to do well at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”

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