Reigning Nigeria king of speed, Enoch Adegoke, chose the biggest stage in sports, the Olympics to join the exclusive club of sub-10 seconds runners after racing home first in 9.98 seconds in his first round heat to qualify for the 100m semifinal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Adegoke, who ran a historic 10.00 seconds last month to win the Nigeria 100m title, was under pressure to match the impressive performance of Grace Nwokocha in the women’s 100m after both dominated the Nigerian local athletics circuit like never before and the 21 year-old lived up to expectations, beating in the process the fastest man in the world this year and seventh fastest of all-time, USA’s Trayvon Brommel, who tops the pre-Games world list with the 9.77 seconds he ran last month in Florida, USA.
Also, through to the semifinal is Ushoritse Itshekiri, who placed third in his first round heat while Nigeria’s third entrant in the event, Divine Oduduru, was disqualified for false starting.
Adegoke has been drawn against the same athletes he defeated, Brommel, Nigeria-born Qatari, Femi Ogunode and Britain’s Zhana Hughes in the second semifinal heat, while Itshekiri will run in the first semifinal and has been drawn against four sprinters, who have ducked inside 10 seconds this season led by Canadian, Andre De Grasse.
Both Nigerians will be looking to become the next duo that will make the final of the event at the games after Davidson Ezinwa and Olapade Adeniken did in the 1990s.