Ghana's Gadayi grabs gold at African Athletics Region II Championship
Ghana's Gadayi grabs gold at African Athletics Region II Championship
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Ghana's Gadayi grabs gold at African Athletics Region II Championship

The Confederation of African Athletics Region II Championship got underway at the University of Ghana Stadium today, with Ghana's Edwin Kwabla Gadayi claiming the first sprint gold for the host nation in the men's 100 metres final.

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While Nigerians dominated the track on day one, Gadayi, a silver medallist in the 4x100metres relay at the African Games held at the same venue in March, stole the show. 

He surged past his main rival in the final 30 metres to win the men's 100metres in a time of 10.28 seconds, although falling short of the Olympic qualifying mark of 10.00seconds.

The race, initially delayed by a false start from Ghanaian compatriot Sarfo Ansah, was a dead heat between Gadayi and Nigerian Israel Okon in the first 60 metres. Okon unable to cope with Gadayi's pace settled for silver in 10.34 seconds, while Fode Sissoko of Mali took bronze in 10.49 seconds. Ansah finished outside the medals in fourth.

Nigeria continued its sprinting prowess in the women's 100metres final, with Justina Eyapokbeyan claiming gold in 11.52 seconds. Olayinka Olajide secured silver for Nigeria in 11.58 seconds, while Ghana's Hor Halutie earned bronze in 11.62 seconds.

Hurdles see mixed results

Faith Osamuyi of Nigeria secured the competition's first track gold medal in the women's 110metres hurdles, finishing comfortably in 13.66 seconds.

 However, her time fell short of the Olympic qualifying standard of 12.77 seconds. Madina Toure of Burkina Faso came in second (14.32 seconds), followed by Maguette Ndiaye of Senegal (14.20 seconds).

The men's hurdles final was an all-Francophone affair, with Abdoulaye Diop of Senegal taking gold in 14.52 seconds. His compatriots Check Tidiane Cisse (14.79 seconds) and Ivorian Kouassi Muhammed Koumoin (14.84 seconds) completed the podium.

Discus and 400m Races

Ghana's Faustina Owusu triumphed in the women's discus throw, with Nassira Kone of Mali and Brigitte Tchede of Benin securing silver and bronze respectively.

Nigeria's dominance extended to the 400m races. Esther Joseph clinched gold in the women's event with a time of 51.79 seconds, while teammate George Patience Okon followed closely behind for silver (52.10 seconds). Sita Sibiri of Burkina Faso secured bronze in 53.14 seconds. Ghanaian runners Bridget Annan and Aduntira Grace finished outside the medals.

The men's 400m race saw another Nigerian victory, with Ifeanyi Ojeli crossing the line first in 45.84 seconds. Senegalese runners El Hadji Malick Soumare (46.18 seconds) and Abdou Aziz Ndiaye (46.37 seconds) claimed silver and bronze respectively.

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