African Games 2023: Unforgettable moments of triumph and records for Ethiopia and Nigeria


In an exhilarating showcase of athleticism and spirit, the African Games 2023 in Accra, Ghana, turned into a theatre of dreams for many athletes, as records tumbled and champions were crowned.

 Amidst the fervor and competition, Tsige Duguma of Ethiopia and the Nigerian mixed 4x400m relay team etched their names into the annals of history with performances that captivated spectators and fellow athletes alike.

Ethiopia‘s Tsige Duguma, fresh off her gold medal victory at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, continued her dominance in the women’s 800m.

With an unerring sense of pace and strategy, Duguma controlled the race from the outset, crossing the finish line in 1:57.73. This impressive feat not only secured her the gold but also saw her surpass her previous best, setting a new lifetime record.

Her victory was a testament to her relentless work ethic and determination, placing her ahead of 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda and Kenya’s Vivian Kiprotich, who completed the podium.

The women’s 5000m saw another Ethiopian triumph as World U20 champion Medina Eisa led an Ethiopian sweep.

Eisa, along with compatriots Birtukan Molla and Melknat Wudu, demonstrated teamwork and strategic prowess to outpace the competition, including world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya.

Their 1-2-3 finish was a display of Ethiopia’s depth in long-distance running, with Eisa claiming gold in a time of 15:04.32.

Nigeria record

Meanwhile, the Nigerian mixed 4x400m relay team broke new ground, setting an African record of 3:13.26.

The quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Patience Okon-George, Sikiru Adeyemi, and Omolara Ogunmakinju showcased exceptional teamwork and resilience, overcoming a significant lead by Botswana to clinch the gold medal.

Their record-breaking performance not only highlighted the strength of Nigerian athletics but also set a new benchmark for future competitors.

The men’s events were equally thrilling. Samuel Firewu of Ethiopia showcased his talent in the 3000m steeplechase, employing a clever strategy to outmaneuver his Kenyan rivals and secure the gold.

In the men’s 10,000m, Ethiopians Nimret Melak and Gemechu Dida demonstrated their long-distance prowess, overtaking Ghana’s William Amponsah in the closing laps to secure a one-two finish, leaving the crowd in awe of their athletic excellence.

The sprints brought their share of excitement, with Cameroon’s Emmanuel Eseme and Gambian Gina Bass-Bittaye emerging victorious in the men’s and women’s 100m, respectively.

Their wins were not just personal triumphs but also historic achievements for their nations, underlining the diverse talent pool across the continent.

Field events witnessed remarkable feats as well. South Africa’s Mire Reinstorf soared to a new Games record in the women’s pole vault, while Algeria’s Zahra Tatar unleashed a lifetime best to win the women’s hammer throw in dramatic fashion, setting a new Games record.

These performances were emblematic of the spirit of the African Games, where athletes continually push the boundaries of what’s possible.

Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Nigeria defended his title in the men’s shot put, while home athlete Rose Yeboah and Nigeria’s Ruth Usoro claimed gold in the women’s high jump and triple jump, respectively.

These victories were not just about the medals but also about inspiring the next generation of athletes.

The African Games in Accra was a celebration of African athleticism, unity, and spirit. Records were broken, champions were made, and the continent’s sporting prowess was on full display.

As athletes from across Africa returned home, they carried with them not just medals but memories of a competition that showcased the best of African sportsmanship and camaraderie.

PHOTO: World Athletics

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