… as Ethiopia shines on first day of track, field events

Tobi Amusan anchored the Nigerian women’s 4x100m team to win gold medal at the 13th African Games on Wednesday night.

The quartet won the race with a time of 43.06s.

Amusan combined with Justina Eyakpobeyan, Olajide Olayinka and Fore Abinusawa to win the race.

Liberia and Ghana finished in second and third positions, respectively.

In the men’s 4x100m relay, Nigeria also won the gold medal.

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The quartet of Sunday Israel Okon, Consider Ekanem, Alaba Akintola and Usheoritse Itsekiri stormed to victory in a time of 38.41s.

Remarkably, on the first day of athletics at the 13th African Games in Accra, Ethiopia won its first two gold medals of the event, highlighting its strength in middle and long-distance running, just like Kenya.

Just like Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Sileshi Sihine stood out on the women’s 10,000m podium at the 2003 World Athletics Championships in Paris, Ethiopia also dominated the women’s 5,000m podium in Accra. Medina Eisa, the current world U20 5,000m champion and world junior cross country team champion, proved her potential for success, as she did when she triumphed in the Ethiopian trials at the age of 16 in 2021.

The Legon Sports Stadium, an 11,000-seater facility built for the Games, hosted the first three finals, with the East African country winning four medals, including two golds, Dailypost reports.

With a strong final lap, she won in 15:04.32, beating her fellow Ethiopians Birtukan Molla (15:05.32) and Malknat Wudu (15:07.04). This left Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech, the current 3,000m steeplechase world record holder, in fourth place at 15:13.71 with no medal. Eisa’s next aim is to qualify for the Olympic Games, facing tough competition from runners like Gudaf Tsegay, Hirut Meshesha, Ejgayehu Taye, Freweyni Hailu, and possibly Letensebet Giday if she decides to compete in both the 5,000m and 10,000m events.

In the men’s 3,000m steeplechase, Ethiopia triumphed with 19-year-old Samuel Firewu, who defeated the Kenyan runners in an impressive final lap, having been the U20 world runner-up at Cali 2022.