Okagbare comes of age with TWO victories in Shanghai Diamond League: 200m & Long Jump!

18 May

Blessing Okagbare demonstrated complete dominance of both the Long Jump and 200 metre fields in the 2nd leg of this year’s Diamond League, which took place earlier today (Sunday) in Shanghai. She won the Long Jump with her very first jump, in a new Meeting Record (MR) of 6.86 metres. She proceeded to only take 3 of her 6 allotted jumps, to conserve her energy for the 200 metres a couple of hours later, which she won comfortably in yet another MR of 22.36s, just 0.05s off her personal best in the event!

One could say that Okagbare has come of age with these TWO dominant displays of her raw power and speed. One might recall that in the World Championships last year, she took all 6 jumps while winning the Silver medal in the Long Jump, but was not able to recover well for the 100 metres semi-finals and finals the following day, where she finished in a disappointing (by her standards) 6th place. It would seem that not only is she getting stronger, with TWO commanding victories on the same night, but she is also competing smarter, by forfeiting her final 3 jumps in the Long Jump, so that she had enough left in the tank for the 200m. She had reportedly planned a similar strategy at the World Championships, but one can imagine that when a World Title was on the line and she was in the Silver medal position, she would undoubtedly have been compelled to take every single jump in attempting to win the GOLD (she missed out on it by 1 centimetre to USA’s Brittany Reese)!

Unfortunately, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pulled out of the 200m race in Shanghai at the last minute, so we were denied another head-to-head between these two great athletes. This year’s Diamond League is shaping up to be an extremely tasty prospect for Blessing Okagbare, the world’s busiest athlete on the Diamond League circuit, as she attempts to win the Diamond League race for THREE different events: 100m, 200m & Long Jump! With these wins today, she is already top of the 200m & Long Jump leaders’ boards with 4 points each, and she is currently 2nd in the 100m behind Fraser-Pryce, with 2 points! One thing is for certain, both Chioma Ajunwa’s African Long Jump Record (7.12 metres) and Mary Onyali’s African 200m Record (22.07s) are under serious threat from Blessing – can she break one or both of them this season? She already took Glory Alozie’s 100m African Record last year, with 10.86s and 10.79s runs at the London Anniversary Games!

Nigeria’s Regina George, could only manage 8th place in 51.39s, in a stacked women’s 400 metre race which was won by Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills in 50.31s. Considering that all the other athletes in the field have significantly better PBs than George, this should not be viewed as a disappointment for her. This season is still early, and if she can get close to and beyond her PB of 50.84s, she’ll be back in the mix in future races! Let’s hope that she can re-produce the form that she has shown as a 4x400m Relay runner, with anchor leg splits of 50.5s for Nigeria at the Penn Relays last month, and a sub-50 second split in the Semi-Finals of the World Championships last year.

Be sure to follow @MakingOfChamps on Twitter and like facebook.com/makingofchamps for all your Diamond League updates this season, including TV schedules, live twitter & facebook updates, with a special focus on athletes representing Nigeria!

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

 

7 Responses to “Okagbare comes of age with TWO victories in Shanghai Diamond League: 200m & Long Jump!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Blessing Okagbare goes for another Diamond League Double in Eugene, USA! | Making of Champions - May 29, 2014

    […] Nigeria’s foremost athlete Blessing Okagbare, who was part of Nigeria’s 4x100m quartet who finished 4th at the World Relays at the weekend, will be going for yet another Diamond League double this weekend in Eugene, USA, after her Long Jump and 200 metres wins on the same night in Shanghai a couple of weeks ago. […]

  2. Blessing sets new 200m PB of 22.24s, but finishes 2nd to Bowie’s shock victory! | Making of Champions - May 31, 2014

    […] in a 11.19s win in Jamaica and 11.18s 2nd place in Doha behind Fraser-Pryce, while she claimed 200m and Long Jump victories on the same night in Shanghai two weeks ago (it would seem that she opted out of the Long Jump here in Eugene). But Tori Bowie […]

  3. Blessing sets new 200m PB of 22.23s, but finishes 2nd to Bowie’s shock victory! | Making of Champions - June 1, 2014

    […] win in Jamaica and an 11.18 second 2nd place in Doha behind Fraser-Pryce, while she claimed 200m and Long Jump victories on the same night in Shanghai a couple weeks ago (it would seem that she opted out of the Long Jump here in Eugene). But Tori […]

  4. Okagbare sets the pace in Paris with 200m victory! | Making of Champions - July 6, 2014

    […] the top spot in the 200m ranking with 10 Diamond Race points in her kitty. She won the event at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in May with a Meeting Record (MR) of 22.36, and the long jump as well (wi…. She also finished second in the 200 (behind sprinting revelation, Tori Bowie of the US) at the […]

  5. Regina George & Tosin Oke return to the Diamond League, as Okagbare goes for 200m record | Making of Champions - July 10, 2014

    […] event soon. She currently tops the Diamond League rankings with 10 points, having won the 200m in Shanghai and Paris, and placed second in Eugene with a Personal Best of 22.23s, making her the third fastest […]

  6. Team Nigeria in medals chase as Commonwealth Games in Glasgow take off!!! | Making of Champions - July 22, 2014

    […] where she featured majorly in the sprints, while only competing in the long jump in Shanghai, where she set a Meeting Record (MR) with a leap of 6.86m. Blessing faces the daunting task of securing her first Commonwealth Games title in the 100m in a […]

  7. Blessing Okagbare is 100m Commonwealth Games CHAMPION! | Making of Champions - July 28, 2014

    […] Perhaps she can win it in 2 or 3 Jumps, rest for an hour, then go and claim the 200m Crown as well, just as she did in the Shanghai leg of the Diamond League earlier this season? With the imperious form she’s in right now, we wouldn’t be against her doing just […]

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