*This article has been updated. An earlier version reported that Ebony Morrison will be running in the women’s 200m on Saturday, but she will no longer compete in that race.
Liberia had three exciting races on day-two of the Senior African Athletics Championships in Mauritius. As previously reported, Ebony Morrison, Emmanuel Matadi, and Wellington Zaza all qualified to compete in their event finals. Read the results below.
Morrison takes silver
Spectators anticipated a good 100 meters hurdles match up between Liberia’s Morrison and Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan. Amusan is the current African 100mH record-holder and the lead runner going into the finals. It’s no surprise that Amusan finished first to become the 2022 100mH African Champion.
On the other hand, Morrison made a grand debut at her first African Championships final. She finished second with a time of 12.77 seconds securing the 100mH silver medal and making history. Morrison is Liberia’s first-ever African Championships female medalist, according to head coach Sayon Cooper.
The silver medalist will get some time to soak in her victory and recuperate, before returning to the track next month for the World Athletics Championships. South Africa’s Marione Fourie took bronze.
Table 1. from Mauritius Athletics Association website.
|2||4||769||MORRISON Ebony Leea||12.74||LBR||Senior||12.77|
|4||1||626||KOALA Christiane Yasmine Marthe||BUR||Senior||12.99|
Matadi in the men’s 100m finals
Matadi entered the men’s 100m finals with one of the top three times from the semifinals. Based on his earlier performance Cooper anticipated Matadi gaining one of the three final medals. However, the 100m men’s race did not go as expected.
First, the race was halted by a false start, which disqualified Namibia’s Maseko Hainuca. After the remaining runners regrouped and restarted, Matadi ended with a strong 10.08 seconds finish. This placed him 6th overall.
Though Liberia missed out on a 100 meters’ medal, the race was still exciting. The winning announcement came down to a 3000th-of-a-second photo finish. Ultimately, Africa’s current record-holder, Ferninand Omanyala of Kenya became the 2022 100m champion with a 9.927 finish. South Africa’s Akani Simbine, who held Africa’s 2016 champion title, finished second in 9.93 seconds.
Matadi will compete in the men’s 200m, on Saturday. As the 2016 African bronze medalist, he will have the opportunity to double his 200m African title.
Table 2. from Mauritius Athletics Association website.
|5||3||96||EMANUEL ALOBWEDE Eseme||CMR||Senior||10.06|
|6||4||298||MATADI Emmanuel B||LBR||Senior||10.08|
|7||389||HAINUCA Gilbert Maseko||NAM||Senior||DIS|
Zaza narrowly misses bronze
Liberia’s final day-two appearance came from Zaza in the 110mH. The Liberian hurdler had a strong finish the previous day placing first in his heat and third overall. Zaza came into the race as the number one African hurdler for 2022 having set a new 13.36 national record for Liberia. Cooper also had high expectations for Zaza to medal in the 110mH, but the record-holder just missed the top three.
Zaza finished fourth in the finals. He completed the race in 13.69 seconds. But this is not the end of his championship journey. He will join Matadi and Akeem Sirleaf in the men’s 200m, on Saturday.
Follow @goteamliberia on social media for Coach Cooper’s breakdown of each match.
Table 3. from Mauritius Athletics Association website.