Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare Saturday wiped out her London 2012 Olympic tears when she returned to the same venue at Olympics Stadium in Strafford and sensationally beat the world to win the 100m, setting a new African record in the process.
It was at the venue where she raised hopes of Nigerians but crashed them at the Olympics, getting to the final but placing last.
Before more than 80,000 spectators, the new Africa’s Queen of the tracks first broke Gloria Alozie’s 14 -year old record of 10.90 record when she returned in 10.86 seconds in the heats. She further lowered that in the final to produce what is now the talk in town, a sensational feat of 10.79 seconds.
“I see a world champion in her and I pray she makes it in Moscow during the World Championships. Setting a record is always a great thing. I congratulate her,”quickly reacted Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who has been supporting Nigeria’s elite athletes especially Okagbare.
It was a strange afternoon in what was the deepest sprint field of the second day of the London Anniversary Games.
Reigning world champion Carmelita Jeter withdrew from the final with a quad injury, according to Flotrack, after running a season’s best 10.93 in her heat.
Jeter missed the U.S. championships in June due to a quad injury. With worlds just two weeks away, this is a situation to monitor.
Two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce put up a very smooth world-leading 10.77 in her heat. But Fraser-Pryce was never a factor in the final, running a 10.94 for fourth place. The winner was Blessing Okagbare in 10.79 seconds.
Okagbare is also ranked fourth in the world this year in both the 200 and the long jump.