By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – The 2019 Destiny College Inter-Secondary Schools Athletics meet 200 meters champion, Josiah Joel has targeted the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France for his debut at the quadrennial competition.
Josiah, who represented Faith Academy, Kaduna, ran 22.15secs to win the longer sprint event at the inter-secondary schools competition on the tartan track of Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna on Saturday.
Faith Academy retained their title with seven gold medals, Saint Michael Anglican College, Kaduna placed second with one gold medal, while Government Secondary School, Sabo Tasha placed third with five silver medals.
Josiah, who planned to make a career off track and field, said he intends to work extra hard to achieve his aim, while improving in every aspect especially in speed endurance.
“I’m happy to win the 200m because it is my favourite sprint, though the 22.15secs I ran is below my personal best of 22:06secs. I also won the 200m during Kaduna state trials for the 2018 National Youth Games, though I could not partake at the Youth Games.
According to the 16 years old, SSS3 student, “I feel happy because I have been training hard to win and improve my performance and time. I want to take track and field as my career and I planned to train harder with experienced athletes so that I can learn more from them and from my coach. I’m targeting 2024 as my debut year at the Olympics and I’m ready to do everything possible to achieve my target.”
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Athletics Team won the invitational event with two gold medals in women 100m and 4×100 relay races, MA Athletics Club placed second with one gold medal in men 4x100m relay and two silver medals in men and women 100m respectively. Coach Felix Academy and Athletics Club won one gold medal in men 100m and three bronze medals in men 100m and men and women 4x100m relays to came third.
Speaking after the event, chief organiser and Director of Destiny College, (DC), Mr Busayo Akintunde said he is motivated to continue organising the annual tournament in its third edition by the passion, seal and interest shown by the other schools to be part of the event and the support by the partners to make the event a success.
“We want to discover and nurture young talents to lay foundation for greater future for them. The 100m winner of the maiden edition in 2017, Aisha was a student of Destiny College, now she is a student of Botany at ABU Zaria, 16 secondary schools participated in this event and six professional athletics clubs,” he added.
Emmanuel Sule of Saint Michael Secondary School won the 100m with a time of 11.25sec to beat Joshua Oriku of GSS Sabo Tasha 11.40sec and Victor Moses of Destiny College 11.65sec. Peace Lekwot of Faith Academy won the girls 100m in 12.97sec, Gloria Garba of GSS Sabo and Zainab Bello of Nigeria Turkish International College placed second and third.
Josiah beat Joshua Oriku 23.31sec and Ahmed Ibrahim of Future Leaders 23.81, who came second and third. Albtina Garba won the girls 200m in 28.31, Vivian Abo of Destiny College 30.03sec placed second, while Faith Jude of GSS Wusono 30.45 came third.