Okagbare Inspires Nigeria To AAG 4X100M Gold

Okagbare Inspires Nigeria To AAG 4X100M Gold

–Uhunoma second after 4 events in the Heptathlon

By Sab Osuji In Brazzaville:

Double Commonwealth sprint champion, Blessing Okagbare Tuesday at the New Kintele Stadium in Brazzaville, Congo inspired Nigeria to her ninth 4x100m relay gold in the history of the Games.

Okagbare, the 15th IAAF World championships 100m finalist ran a solid second leg which took the wind out of the sail of favourites, Cote D'Ivoire who had two athletes in the open 100m final, Marie Josee Talou who ran a new 11.02 seconds Games record and Adeline Gouenon who came in fourth ahead of the lone Nigerian in the,Cecilia Francis, the lead off leg runner for Nigeria.

Okagbare 's huge lead was sustained by third leg runner,USA-based Ngozi Onwumere who handed over to Lawretta Ozoh to coast home in 43.10 seconds,the second fastest winning time since the Mary Onyali led team ran 43.04 seconds to win the gold in 2003. 

In the heptathlon, reigning Nigeria champion, Uhunoma Naomi Osazuwa is in second place after four events on the opening day of the event.

The Nigerian who placed 18th at the last IAAF World Championships in Beijing,China last month has 3,583 points behind half way leader,Benin Republic's Odile Ahouanwanou who has 3,654 points.

The two other Nigerians in the event,Kemi Francis (3,252 points) and Hope Idhe (3,059 points) sit in fifth and seventh position respectively.

Uhunoma will be hoping to overhaul the leader in the remaining three events viz Long Jump (one of her best events),the javelin throw and the 800m where she set a new personal best of 2:21.36 at the Beijing IAAF Worlds.