Enoch Obaloluwa Adegoke raced to a new 10.16 seconds world lead in the 100m Saturday at the one-day Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) All-Comers meet held at the Sports Ground of the Federal University of Technology,Akure to lay down the gauntlet as the athlete to beat at the National Sports Festival scheduled to start on St Valentine’s day in Benin City,Edo state.
Troubled by injury,Adegoke under-performed last year,running 10.29 seconds at the Okowa Covid-19 meet to leave the stage for old war horse,Ogho-Oghene Egwero whose 10.23 seconds run at the Test The Track meet in Benin ended up as the second fastest time by a Nigerian that year.
Egwero,the two-time Nigeria 100m champion was expected to headline Saturday’s race but Adegoke proved his 10.12 seconds personal-best setting run in June 2019 was not by happenstance as he stopped the clock at 10.16 seconds. The performance catapaults him to the top of the world outdoor list ahead of Australia’s Rohan Browning (10.23) while Godson Brume’s 10.27 seconds performance which earned him second place behind Adegoke is now the third fastest time in the world this year.
Adegoke has shown a little bit of consistency in the last two or so years and athletics experts believe it is only a matter of time for him to break 10.10 seconds in the event before racing into the exclusive zone of sub-10 seconds runners reserved for just 10 Nigerian sprinters.
‘Enoch has shown great promise over the years. He has broken 10.20 seconds about five times now between when he first ran 10.19 into a -1.4mps at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 to Saturday’s impressive performance in Akure. Remember it is his first race of the season and the future looks really bright for the young man,’said athletics coach Chief Tony Osheku.
Osheku is confident Adegoke will make the 4x100m relay team to the Olympics in July and implores the AFN to provide more race for the athletes to gauge their level of preparedness for the task at hand.
‘Enoch should gatecrash into that team if he continues on this path. The good thing is that he also has the speed endurance that running 200m alongside the 100m provides. Remember he is close to running a sub-21 seconds in the 200m.His personal best of 21.07 which I must add he also ran into a -0.1mps in Abidjan at the African U-20 championships in April 2019 shows he can cope with the mental and psychological pressure he will definitely face as he grows into a world class sprinter