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Amike Tips Nathaniel To Run 47 Secs In 400m Hurdles; Nnamdi Finishes 2nd In Collegiate Javelin

Amike Tips Nathaniel To Run 47 Secs In 400m Hurdles; Nnamdi Finishes 2nd In Collegiate Javelin

Former Nigeria track and field international, Olympian Henry Amike believes Nathaniel Ezekiel has proved he has the talent to make history as the first Nigerian man to run inside 48 seconds in the 400m hurdles.

Nathaniel Friday evening ran a new 48.29 lifetime best at the 2024 Tom Jones Memorial Invitational on the Percy Beard Track at the James G. Pressly Stadium in Florida to break the 48.42 Nigerian record he set almost two years ago at the Big 12 Championships in Lubbock, Texas.

With that achievement, Nathaniel has moved to number 13 on the African all-time list and could become the first Nigerian to break 48 seconds in the event.


Amike, a World Championships’ finalist in the event is impressed with the incredible rise of the 20 year old who around this time in 2021 was just a 53.2

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“I have been monitoring Ezekiel’s performance and I am quite impressed with the hardwork he has put in to become the Nigerian record holder in the event. I know he must have put in a lot of hardwork because the 400m hurdles is very demanding. It is not enough to have the talent,” said Amike who held the event’s record (48.50) for 35 years.

Amike is confident Nathaniel will become the first Nigerian man to break 48 seconds in the event if he continues to work very hard.

“I am happy he is finally going to the Olympics and I believe, with more hardwork, he can make that history in Paris,” added Amike who ran twice in the final of the event at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics.

Amike would however not be drawn on Nathaniel’s chances of becoming the first Nigerian man to make the podium in the event at the Olympics.

“The standard is very high in the 400m hurdles. Since Kevin Young ran 46.78 to win at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics, subsequent winners have ran a sub-48
seconds until Karsten Warholm took it to another level in Tokyo 2020 with the event’s first sub-46 seconds performance (45.94).

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“It will take another sub-46 seconds to win in Paris and nothing below 47.15 to get to the podium. It is tough but Ezekiel’s geometric rise in the event could be that glimmer of hope that history can be made on two fronts in Paris,” said Amike who dominated the Nigerian 400m hurdles scene like a colossus in the 1980s.


Nnamdi Chinecherem

Meanwhile, reigning African Games javelin throw champion, Nnamdi Chinecherem Prosper made his return to collegiate action on Friday in the javelin throw with a second-place finish (78.90m) behind 2022 NCAA Champion, Marc Minichello whose 81.03m effort was the farthest throw of the event at the 2024 Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Florida.

The Nigerian came into the event as one of the favourites to win following his 82.80m new Nigerian record throw at the African Games last month in Accra,
Ghana but a series of foul throws limited the 21 year old’s chances.

Nnamdi won second place with his first throw of the competition as all efforts to improve on that and hit the 80m mark for the fourth time in his career could only yield 74.80m and 75.14m in his second and third throws. He passed on the final three throws.

Also at the meet, Abasiono Akpan’s 57.52 seconds run was only good enough to place her 15th in the overall classification in the women’s 400m hurdles while Texas Tech’s Omamuyovwi Erhire cleared 2.21m in the high jump to win.

In the women’s long jump, Grace Oshiokpu’s 5.58m jump was adjudged the 10th best of the lot while Oghenefejiro Praise of Louisiana State University did not start the event.


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