NIGERIAN sprint queen Blessing Okagbare has run the second fastest time ever run by a woman in the 100 metres when she romped home in 10.63 seconds at Nigeria’s national Olympics trials in Lagos yesterday.
Okagbare, 32, who is getting all set for the Tokyo Olympics due to take place between July 23 and August 8 this year, is now looking like a prime candidate to win gold. Only American Florence Griffith-Joyner, who clocked 10.49 seconds has ever run faster than her, with Okagbare and Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in joint second.
With this latest victory Okagbare becomes the fastest African woman sprinter ever after she finished the race at 10.62 seconds but a +2.7 tailwind forced the time back to 10.63 seconds. Okagbare’s record is, however, subject to ratification by the World Athletics Federation.
Okagbare said: “I feel like Blessing Okagbare once again and I just want to go out every time and do my best. I feel happy, I’m really happy that this time came down today. It boosts my confidence and I just hope this same thing happens at the Olympics.
“I’ve been working on everything in general. I hope it clicks where it counts at the big stage as I have to go to the games and do better than this or reciprocate it. This finish boosts my confidence going to the games.”
In the men’s 100m event, Enoch Adegoke, finished first with new personal best of 10seconds ahead of Ucheoritshe Itshekiri and Brume Okeoghene. He said he has longed to finish in this sort of time, pledging that he will improve on his performance and get to the finals in Tokyo.