2014 Diamond League kicks off with Okagbare facing off against Fraser-Pryce!

8 May

The International Diamond League circuit is back for 2014! The first leg of the annual 14-city competition kicks off in Doha, Qatar tomorrow (Friday May 9th). Outside the major competitions (Olympics, World Championships, etc), the Diamond League is the competition that the world’s very best athletes compete in each year for prize money, and for a chance to be crowned the ‘Diamond Race’ winner in their respective events!

The highlight for Nigeria fans on Friday will undoubtedly be the women’s 100m where Nigeria’s Double World Championship Medallist, Blessing Okagbare will face-off against Jamaica’s Double 100m Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The Jamaican leads in the 100m head-to-head record between the two by 12-3, with Okagbare’s most notable victory coming during the London Anniversary Games last year, when she lowered the 14-year old African 100m record, twice in the same day, to 10.86s and then 10.79s! That said, Fraser-Pryce, as the current 100m Olympic and World Champion, has made it count when it mattered the most.

Okagbare started her 100m season with a solid 11.19s run into a strong headwind on Saturday at the Jamaica Invitational in Kingston, while Fraser-Pryce opted for the 200m in that same event, winning in 22.53s. Given that Fraser-Pryce has already been quoted as saying that Okagbare will be her strongest competition at the Commonwealth Games this year, it will be interesting to follow their head-to-heads throughout the Diamond League season! How close can Blessing get to the world’s most decorated female athlete?

For Nigerian viewers, SuperSport 9 (DSTV Channel 209) will show the Doha Diamond League meet LIVE from 5 – 7pm Nigerian time tomorrow. The women’s 100m is scheduled for 6.09pm, so be sure to tune in to see Okagbare race Fraser-Pryce, and a bevy of other top track stars, including Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart, and the American trio of Alexandria Anderson, English Gardner and Barbara Pierre!

Other races of interest tomorrow? USA’s 400m World Champion, LeShawn Merritt should lead all comers in the men’s 400m at 5.26pm, while Jamaica’s 200m Olympic Bronze Medallist, Warren Weir, should take the men’s 200m at 6.36pm – do look out for Nigerian-born Qatari athlete, Femi Ogunode in that race too!

Making of Champions will be bringing you special updates and reports ahead of, during and after each Diamond League event in 2014, with a particular focus on Nigeria’s leading athletes such as Blessing Okagbare and Regina George – stay tuned!

2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar

Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep



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