Woodford Green’s golden wonder
Woodford Green & Essex Ladies’ Tosin Oke will return home with a gold medal around his neck after fending off a late challenge to take the triple jump title at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
The 31-year-old, representing Nigeria, jumped 17.16 metres in the second round, which proved just enough to take Commonwealth gold after Cameroon’s Lucien Mamba Schlick fell two centimetres short of Oke’s jump, his second best in his career.
After securing the title in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday, Oke hopes he’ll get more opportunities on the world stage, picking up Nigeria’s first triple jump gold in 44 years.
“It feels great. I am not surprised, but it was closer than I thought. It is good to perform on the world stage. This is great for me. It is my first International title,” said the 31-year-old.
Oke put his success down to the training camp he attended before the Commonwealth Games.
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“The camp helped me stay professional and focus on the job, which I did,” added Oke.
Meanwhile, club-mate Nick Leavey won bronze after running the second leg of England’s 4x400m relay as they clocked 3.03.97.
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“I came into the team and ran the first leg in the qualifiers which allowed me to get out there and blow away the cobwebs,” said Leavey.
“Conrad (Williams) gave us a good start and it was up to me to keep the momentum going and give Rick (Yates) the best opportunity.”
But it wasn’t all good news as two Woodford runners missed out on medals. Joice Maduaka finished fourth in the 200 metre final on Monday, just being beaten into the bronze-medal position by Canadian Julienne Power in 23.57 seconds.
“It’s just putting the race together for me, which I didn’t do,” said Maduaka.
“I had a great start in the heats and a great finish in the semi-final, but I needed to do both.
“To say how disappointed I am – I can’t even put it into words. This was my chance.”
Emeka Udechuku was placed fifth in the discus final on Sunday, with a throw of 59.59m. He was two places better than his seventh in Melbourne, Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.