Athletics: Eddie Osei-Nketia wins New Zealand national 100m men's title, Zoe Hobbs takes women's crown

Sprint sensation Eddie Osei-Nketia has won his third New Zealand national 100m title with a run of 10.20 in Hastings on Saturday. 

Despite victory, Osei-Nketia's father Gus Nketia keeps hold of his national record of 10.11s for now, which has stood since the 1994 Commonwealth Games. 

Friend and rival Tiaan Whelpton pushed the 20-year-old, until he pulled up clutching his right hamstring with around 40m left to run. 

Osei-Nketia only decided this week to return from Australia when the borders reopened. to compete in the national championships,a decision that's paid off handsomely. 

The run wasn't quite wind legal, but was a statement all the same. 

"It was a rushed job from Tuesday when we decided we're going to go nationals with all the borders and stuff, so I'm glad to be here," Osei-Nketia says. 

Whelpton had been hot on Osei-Nketia's tail in recent weeks, but was cruelly stopped this time. 

"In the game I had to put pressure on him because that's the game plan, but then after that I just had to come and give him a hug because we're all friends after that. But during the race we're all enemies.

"Ever since 10.09, oh my god, I got really scared, that's when I knew I had to verse [sic] this guy." 

Whelpton ran a blistering 10.09s at the Potts Classic last month, but it wasn't quite wind legal. 

The pair had the same time in qualifying 10.72s, and even though the day ultimately belonged to Osei-Nketia, Whelpton's sure to want another go at his rival sooner rather than later. 

As expected, Zoe Hobbs comfortably took out the women's final, claiming her seventh NZ 100m title with an electric 11.07s, but the national record holder was also assisted by a breeze once again . 

"Oh that wind! I'm so stoked with the time though," Hobbs says. 

Zoe Hobbs
Zoe Hobbs Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"I was a big ball of nerves before the race and for me it was about being patient through the transitions, I stood up early in the heats so I wanted to clean that up, and then just have fun with it, because that's what I've had all season and it's seemed to come together. 

The victory's  just another impressive achievement for Hobbs, who is having a stand out season, off the back of some remarkable improvement. 

Asked if she ever thought last season she could run an 11.07s, Hobbs' answer was simple. 

"No. I knew I was capable but to actually see it happen is kind of mind blowing," she adds. 

"A lot of credit to my coach James Mortimer, we've worked so hard since 2017, and to see it finally come together is pretty cool."