Blessing Okagbare & Regina George in Shanghai Diamond League Tomorrow!

17 May

The second leg of the annual 14-city Diamond League competition takes place in Shanghai, China tomorrow (Sunday May 18th), and there will be two athletes representing Nigeria on show, Double World Championship Medallist, Blessing Okagbare, and Nigerian 400m Champion, Regina George!

Okagbare has had a solid start to the outdoor season, winning the 100m at the Jamaica Invitational in 11.19s, and following that with an 11.18s run at the Doha  Diamond League, where she finished in 2nd place behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. This time around, Okagbare will be taking on the world’s best in the 200m, an event she won Bronze in the World Championships last year. The start-list for the 200m in Shanghai tomorrow is loaded – 200m World Champion Fraser-Pryce will be there, as will 200m Double Olympic Champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, who is returning from a period of inaction due to a provisional drug suspension which was later overturned – she is the only athlete in the field that has ever gone under 22 seconds in the event, and she’ll be looking to make up for lost time!

Blessing will also face stiff competition from the American duo of Kimberlyn Duncan and Tiffany Townsend, both of whom have better PBs than her in the 200 metres, and Bahamian 100m & 200m Junior World Champion, Anthonique Strachan, could also provide a strong challenge. That said, Okagbare’s greatest test in Shanghai will be how well she combines the 200m with the Long Jump, which she is also scheduled to compete in just a couple of hours before the 200m! Will she have time to recover for the 200m after competing in the Long Jump? Will she take all 6 jumps or try to win in fewer jumps so that she conserve her energy for the 200m? At the World Championships last year, Okagbare took the Silver in the Long Jump, but struggled to recover well for the 100 metres the following day, managing only a 6th place finish.

Regina George will be at the start-line for the 400 metres in Shanghai, and she will be up against some of the biggest names in Track & Field, including Botswana’s Amantle Montsho, and USA’s Alyson Felix, making her first appearance since her dramatic injury in the 200m World Championship finals last year. Every other athlete competing has a better PB than George (50.84s), with SIX of them having gone under 50 seconds at some point in their careers. That said, if George’s early season form from the Penn Relays last month is anything to go by, then she will give the field a run for their money – don’t bet against her setting a new PB in Shanghai!

For Nigerian viewers, SuperSport 6 (DSTV Channel 206) will show the Shanghai Diamond League meet LIVE from 1 – 3pm Nigerian tomorrow (Sunday May 18th). 

Regina George will be going in the women’s 400m at 1.36pm, while Blessing Okagbare will line up for the women’s 200m at 2.17pm

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 – 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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