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Okagbare Chases Fraser-Pryce Record To Paris

Okagbare Chases Fraser-Pryce Record To Paris

By Dare Esan:

Double Commonwealth sprints queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, will be hoping to extract her pound of flesh from double world sprints champion, Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, when both meet at the IAAF Diamond League meeting (Meeting Areva) in Paris on Saturday.


The reigning Nigeria 100m champion will also be aiming for her third sub-11 seconds run of the season and 13th overall since she became the fifth Nigerian woman after Mary Onyali (10.97), Chioma Ajunwa (10.84), Glory Alozie (10.90) and Damola Osayomi (10.99) to duck inside 11 seconds in 2012.

Two years ago, Okagbare-Ighoteguonor made her debut at the Meeting Areva in Saint-Denin in the outskirts of Paris but played second fiddle to Fraser-Pryce, losing by the narrowest of margins. The Nigerian ran 10.93 seconds against the Jamaican's 10.92 seconds.

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Revenge and the boiling desire to extend her record as the greatest Nigerian sprinter of all time should drive Okagbare-Ighoteguonor to not only out-run Fraser-Pryce for the second time this season but also clock another sub-11 seconds performance.

The quality of the field in Paris should also ensure a new world lead and perhaps African record will drop on Saturday night.

Apart from Fraser-Pryce who has a personal season's best of 10.79 seconds which she ran to win the Jamaican World Championship trials last weekend in Kingston, Jamaica, American girl English Gardener also holds a 10.79 personal season's best for a joint world lead in 2015.

Cote d'Ivoire's Muriel Ahoure, who outran Okagbare-Ighoteguonor to the silver medal at the 2013 IAAF Worlds in Moscow, holds the second fastest time in the world this season (10.81) with the Nigerian seventh in the top list with the 10.87 seconds she ran to place fourth in Eugene, Oregon, USA last May at the Prefontaine Classics (Diamond League).

Another quality athlete that will be on parade is Europe's number one sprinter Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands.
Okagbare-Ighoteguonor ran four sub-11 seconds in the 100m in 2012 with the 10.92 seconds she ran to win the third semi-final at the London Olympics her fastest.

The following year she raced inside 11 seconds three times with the 10.79 seconds new African record she set at the London Olympics anniversary meeting on July 27 her fastest.

In 2014, she ran 10.85 to win the Commonwealth Games 100m gold. It was her fastest time of the year and her third sub-11 seconds run of the year.

This season, she has broken 11 seconds twice (10.98 and 10.87) and another sub 11 seconds performance on Saturday will count as her 13th career-run.

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