Nigeria’s shot put king, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi finished eighth with a 20.54 m throw on his IAAF Diamond League debut at the Golden Gala Pietro Menea Thursday in Rome, Italy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Enekwechi was one of the eight men out of the 11 on parade who came to the Stadio Olympico with at least a throw above 21m so far this season.

The Nigerian’s 21.77m effort is a new Nigerian record and just two centimetres outside the 21.79 m Polish athlete, Michał Haratyk brought to the event in Rome.

Both Enekwechi and Haratyk, the two pre-event best failed to make the podium.

While the Pole placed fourth with his 21.56m fifth round effort, Enekwechi came in eighth with his 20.54m first round throw.

The Nigerian failed to hit above the mark, throwing 19.93m in the second round before recording a no mark in the third and fourth rounds.

He returned with a 20.48m throw in the fifth before fouling the final round.

Enekwechi’s effort has fetched him just one point in the Diamond qualification standings after two of four meetings.

The Commonwelath Games silver medallist will now be looking forward to getting one of the three spots available at the Prefontaine Classics in Eugene, USA on June 30 when the shot put (men) returns to the programme.

NAN also reports that nine athletes are already confirmed for the event in Eugene. (NAN)