Former Commonwealth Games double sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare -Ighoteguonor Sunday evening ran 11.05 seconds personal season’s best to win the 100m event at the Rabat, Morocco leg of the 14-leg IAAF Diamond League meetings, Completesports.com reports
The long-legged and elegant Nigerian defeated her hottest challenger, Cote D’Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou by four hundreth of a
second (11.09) to secure the win while Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers disappointed as she ran 11.32 seconds to place fifth.
The win catapaulted Okagbare to the top of the women’s 100m standing in the Diamond League with 15 points after garnering
eight points in Rabat to add to the seven she got in the opening leg of the meetings in Doha last month with her second place finish. She also got $10,000 for her effort.
The victory brought Okagbare’s total wins on the track in the IAAF Diamond League to seven viz four in the 100m and three in the 200m.
She won her first race on the track seven years ago at the Herculis Zepter in Monaco where she ran a then personal best of 10.96 seconds ahead of the USA duo of Tianna Madison and Jeneba Tarmoh.
Okagbare exploded the following year with a first ever sub-10.8 performance by an African woman when she ran 10.79 seconds, then an African record to win at the Muller Anniversarry Diamond League meeting on July 27 in London. This came barely a month after she raced to her first ever Diamond League win in the 200m at the Birmingham leg of the 14-leg meetings, running 22.50 seconds to win.
The beautiful Nigerian won twice over the half lap race the following year (2014) at the Diamond League meetings in Shanghai in China and Paris in France. She ran 22.36 seconds to win in Shanghai and 22.32 seconds for the win in Paris.
Okagbare returned to Shanghai the following year to run 10.98 seconds in the blue ribband race and emerged the winner. That proved to be her last win on the IAAF Diamond League track until Sunday night in Rabat.
Okagbare’s focus now will be to break her first 10 seconds in the 100m event this year before setting her sight on the IAAF World Championships in September/October in Doha where she will be hoping to return to the podium six years after she won a silver (long jump) and bronze (200m) in Moscow 2013.
By Dare Esan