At the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge in Brazil over the weekend, Nigeria’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi broke the shot put national record at the Estádio do Centro Nacional de Desenvolvimento do Atletismo, São Paulo.
Enekwechi, a 2018 Commonwealth Silver medal winner, produced a throw of 21.77m to clinch gold at the 35th Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo on Sunday to beat the previous national record of 21.76m set by Stephen Mozia at the Grand Prix in Czech Republic three years ago.
The 14th ranked Nigerian stunned the home crowd as he defeated world number 3 and crowd favorite, Brazilian Darlan Romani who came second. Curtis Jensen from USA was third with 20.40m.
Romani was leading with a throw of 21.62m from round two before New York-born Enekwechi bettered his personal best by 49 centimeters in the third round to take the lead.
Romani improved to 21.69m on his final throw, but it wasn’t enough win the gold medal.
Enekwechi is now the second in Africa’s shot put all time record behind South Africa’s Janus Robberts 2001 throw of 21.97m.
Enekwechi won the shot put title at the African championships in Asaba last year and was selected to represent Africa at the Ostrava Continental Cup.
He won both the shot put and hammer throw events at the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja, where he threw 20.36m to set a new festival record in shot put.