Metu crashes in Dakar

Published in NEXT - a Nigerian newspaper

Monday, April 26, 2010 06:48

Nigerian champion, Metu crashes in Dakar

By Tunde Eludini

April 26, 2010 02:52AM
print email

Reigning Nigerian champion in both the 100m and 200m, Obinna Metu, failed to make it to the podium at the IAAF Grand Prix held in Dakar over the weekend as he finished 4th in the 100m and 5th in the 200m finals at the athletics event.

In the 100m event, Metu finished with a time of 10.41sec, while he returned a time of 21.57sec in the 200m.

Flash in the pan

Metu took the Nigerian tracks by storm as he emerged the fastest man en-route qualification for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, defeating the African record holder, Olusoji Fasuba. He however did not make it beyond the second round of the 100m event at the Olympics.

Another Nigerian athlete on parade; Saul Weigpowa finished fifth in the 400m event in a time of 47.88secs in a race won by Africa’s record holder, Gary Kigaya.

The likes of Obinna Metu, Adetoye Durotoye, Damola Osayomi and other sprinters have proved to be flashes in the pan; they will win at home and on the continent with fanfare, but at the Olympics and World Championships, they always turn flat-footed.

Another chance

With Nigerian athletes billed to compete again at the Africa Championships in Kenya and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India later this year, they would have to step up their pace if they hope to make any impact at the events.

Already, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) says its newly organised Golden League Meet is meant to put the athletes in shape for the upcoming events.

At the last leg of the League held in Ibadan, the AFN president; Solomon Ogba explained that the league was structured such that the athletes would be hitting their peak form towards the National trials (Mobil track and field Championships) been proposed for Calabar by June.

“It’s been a good start so far, I believe most of them should be hitting peak form by the last leg in Warri,” he said.

The winner of at least five legs out of the proposed six is expected to have a share of a N1 million naira jackpot up for grabs.

Currently, Ogho-Oghene Egwero leads the pack among those jostling for the jackpot.

Metu failed to comment on his performance at Dakar, and brushed aside questions about his non-participation in the AFN Golden League. He expressed scepticism about the federation’s ability to pay since they were still owing him his ticket refund to the last Mobil Track and field championship in Abuja.

Reader Comments (1)

Posted by Ala Owerri on Apr 26 2010

Pls people should understand that thMetu is a professional athlete. This is his first competition and I would not expect him to drop fast times in this early season. 10.41 is good opener for a 10.0 second runner like Metu. Remember that Metu has never gone under 10 seconds. Even Asafa Powell whose fastest time is 9.72 seconds opened up with 10.2 sec and 21.6 second. They have a long season this year so do not expect him to pick early and by the time Connon Wealth Games comes he will crash out on the heats. I believe that his next race will be somewhere btwn 10.29 - 10.2, and 21.30 - 21.00, and by the time Mobil trial come he should be runing like 10.1 - 10.0 seconds. Poeple should also know that these athletes have no support from anyone. No one knows how they feed and take care of themselves, and the little encouragement we should give them is not using the word"Flash in the Pan". I think that is an irresposible word to use for athletes that Nigerians are not taking care of but putting all their endeavors to make our country proud.