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Fasuba takes 100m at All Africa Games, but refuses to celebrate with flag

19 July 2007

African record holder Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria lived up the hype of being the favourite as he captured the men’s 100-metre dash on the second of athletics competition at the 9th All Africa Games on Thursday.

Fasuba, who had been suffering from a back injury during the course of the early rounds of the championships, clocked 10.18, his second fastest this season to leave Ghana’s Eric Nkansah and another Nigerian Uchenna Emedolu battling at a distant for the minor places.

Nkansah in the end posted 10.35 to edge out Emedolu, at 10.37 and prevented a Nigerian 1-2 finish.

Meanwhile, Fasuba’s victory was somewhat spoiled after he bluntly refused to celebrate with the country’s flag. According to reports the sprinter “the athlete felt that Nigeria, as a country, did not facilitate his victory and therefore saw nothing special in attributing his victory to the country as it would mean giving honour to who did not deserve it.”

Damola Osayomi made it a sweep for the 100m sprinters and landed a sixth successive All Africa Games women’s 100m title for Nigeria as she took the women’s race in 11.20.

Former ace Mary Onyali, who won in 1991, 1995 and 2003, Tina Iheagwam in1987, and Mercy Nku in1999 are the other champions on the list. She said after the race that Onyali played a big part in her feat.

“She (Onyali) supported me through the injury,” Osayomi said after the race.

South African Constance Mkenku was second in 11.27 with third going to Ghana’s Vida Anim in11.33.

On the opening day of track and field competition, Ethiopian Olympic champion, Meseret Defar retained her 5000m title.

The World record holder clocked 15:02.72 to beat compatriot Meselech Melkamu, at 15:03.86, while Sylvia Kibet of Kenya was third in 15:06.39.

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