By Dare Esan:
Reigning African 200m record holder (22.04 seconds) Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will seek to take maximum advantage of the absence of Ivorian wonder girl Marie-Jose Ta Lou to race into her first IAAF Diamond League win of the season when the train makes its fourth stop this evening in Oslo, Norway at the Bislett Games, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Nigerian came second (10.90 seconds) behind Ta Lou in Doha last month and finished a disappointing seventh (11.07) in Eugene, Oregon, USA also last month.
This evening Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will however have another Ivorian,this time Murielle Ahoure,the lady who erased the 10.79 seconds African 100m record she set in 2013 to contend with.
The Nigerian 100m and 200m record holder had the better of Ahoure in Doha last month with the Ivorian finishing fourth in 10.96 seconds but out-ran the Nigerian in Eugene (10.90).
The Oslo stage is thus set for the two Africans as they go head-to-head for the third time this outdoor season. A win for the Nigerian will mean a sixth IAAF Diamond League 100m win since she raced to her first win on July 14,2012 in London.
Also lined up to battle for the eight Diamond League points and $10,000 top prize money is another African, fast-rising South African Carina Horn who ran 10.98 seconds to finish fifth in Doha on May 4.
Reigning Commonwealth Games fastest woman Michelle Lee Ahye and British girl Dina Asher-Smith are also in Thursday evening’s line-up.
Ta Lou tops the Diamond League women’s 100m standings with the maximum 16 points from the two of six meetings so far decided following her triumph in Doha and Eugene. Ahoure is second with 12 points while Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson is third having garnered 12 points as Ahoure,three more than Okagbare-Ighoteguomor who is fourth with nine points.
The top eight will be awarded a start at the final at the Weltklasse in Zurich, Switzerland on August 30 with the winner going with a Diamond Trophy (IAAF Diamond League Champion), $50,000 prize money and a wild card for the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
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