Archive | June, 2014

As Britain’s CHIJINDU UJAH breaks 10 seconds, we ask – WHY AREN’T NIGERIANS DOING THE SAME?

9 Jun

20-year old Chijindu Ujah in his first season running as a senior, sprinted to prominence last night in Holland, clocking 9.96s in the 100 metres, making him only the FIFTH British Athlete to go under 10 seconds, and moving him straight up to third in the British all-time list, behind only Linford Christie (9.87s) and James Dasaolu (9.91s). He finished second in the race to Trinidad & Tobago’s Richard Thompson, the Silver medallist  from the Beijing 2008 Olympics, who won the race in 9.95s:

This is another massive personal best from the virtually unknown British youngster, whom we reported had brought his PB down from 10.26s to 10.14s at the Manchester Great CityGames only last month. Now he has truly announced his arrival on the big stage, and he has British commentators salivating on the resurgence of British sprinting. Ujah is yet another athlete born to parents of Nigerian descent but who was born and bred in Britain, after James Dasaolu shot to 2nd in the British all-time list last year, with an incredible 9.91s run at the British Championships! Ujah is coached by Jonas Tawia-Dodoo, and his training partners include Long Jump Olympic Champion Greg Rutherford, and a couple of other youngsters of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent, Deji Tobias and Sean Safo-Antwi!

Here’s the obvious question for Nigerians – WHY is there a trend for Nigerian-born or Nigerian-origin athletes to excel at Sprinting everywhere but Nigeria? Indeed, we just reported this weekend that Nigerians are no longer the fastest people in Africa, even though we hold 7 of the top 9 positions in Africa’s all-time list. Interestingly, the Africa is not the only continent where Nigerians BORN and RAISED in NIGERIA are the Record Holders:

European 100 metre all-time list (Top 7):

1. Francis Obikwelu, 9.86s (POR) – he ran for Nigeria until Sydney 2000 and switched to Portugal in 2001, setting this European Record by winning the Olympic Silver medal at Athens 2004!

2. Linford Christie, 9.87s (GBR)

3. Churandy Martina, 9.91s (NED)

3. James Dasaolu, 9.91s (GBR) – Nigerian descent

5. Christophe Lemaitre, 9.92s (FRA) – the only white athlete who’s ever run under 10 seconds!

6. Jimmy Vicaut, 9.95s (FRA)

7. Chijindu Ujah, 9.96s (GBR) – Nigerian descent

Asian 100 metre all-time list (Top 3):

1. Samuel Francis, 9.99s (QAT) – born and raised in Nigeria – switched to Qatar in 2007, and became the 100m Asian Record Holder that same year!

2. Koji Ito, 10.00s (JPN)

2. Peimeng Zhang, 10.00s (CHN)

 

“There are currently over 72 million young people in the country. Thus, youth, more than oil, could be Nigeria’s asset in the following decades” – askGEJ.com

 

Indeed, Nigeria has over 100 million people younger than 25, and this represents an ample talent pool to dominate a sport that is very empirical, a sport where your success does not directly depend on the performance of others. Nigeria has always had a glorious opportunity to dominate Athletics in a way that only the USA ever has, but apparently everyone else in the Athletics world seems to know this, apart from Nigerians! Leading Sports Geneticist, Dr Yannis Pitsiladis has spoken profusely about the possibilities of Nigeria’s Athletics, as has Bahamian Athletics Executive, Harrison Petty, in the run-up to the 1st ever World Relay Championships in May!

It is also widely known that Nigeria was the nation that America feared the most in the nineties – Carl Lewis was very vocal that the USA should stop funding other countries’ Olympic teams (read: Nigeria) through handing them US Collegiate Scholarships en-masse. In fact, it had been predicted that Nigeria would be the next Track & Field superpower to emerge, but that turned out to be the little Island of Jamaica, population: 3 million (all descended from West Africa, by the way). Jamaica’s rise over the last 15 years has been down to a deliberate private sector effort in Jamaica, by Jamaicans, to produce the world’s best sprinters.

So how come not a single person or company in a country of 170 million people realises that there is the opportunity of a lifetime to train Athletes IN Nigeria, and get them firing on all cylinders against the best in the world? Athletics is the one sport, more than any other in the world, where the greatest battle is the one against oneself – if Nigerians as a people can come together and win the battle against the cultural and economic challenges that hinder real progress in producing World-Class athletes in Nigeria, then global domination in Track & Field beckons!

Can the Super Eagles fly against Argentina at the World Cup?!?

8 Jun

Now that the series of pre-World Cup friendlies for the Super Eagles are over, it’s time to answer the question on every Nigerians lips: How well can they do at the the Big Dance? The Super Eagles are taking less than flattering form into the World Cup starting on Thursday – after an encouraging 2-2 draw with Scotland and a lacklustre goalless draw with Greece, The Eagles wrapped up their pre-World Cup friendlies with an uninspiring 2-1 loss to USA, in a performance that is already sending some Super Eagles fans into panic, and forcing others to adjust their expectations of the team – can we even make it out of the group? Should the less than stellar pre-World Cup form be a source of worry?

Well, yes and no, but more no than yes…yes, it is true that there is a gulf in class between Nigeria’s starting eleven and some of the bench players – strength in depth is needed to go beyond the World Cup Quarter-Finals, if the team can even make it that far. It is also true that the squad continues to be hampered by injuries to 1st team players – both Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo sat out the USA game due to injury concerns, while 1st-choice left back Uwa Echiejile has been ruled out altogether after pulling up with a muscle injury against Greece.

The only consolation Nigeria fans will be able to take from the loss of Echiejile is the return of CHAN MVP, Ejike Uzoenyi, to the team. Despite not being a like-for-like swap (a left-sided attacking midfielder replacing a left back), if Uzoenyi could re-enact any of the form that saw him score 3 incredible goals at this year’s CHAN, then he could prove to be a super-sub that might be able to produce something out of nothing for Nigeria! It remains to be seen whether he will even get a chance, as it would seem he is currently below the likes of Moses, Musa and even Babatunde and Uchebo in the pecking order on the wings!

So why should we not be TOO worried about Nigeria’s less than ideal build up to Brazil? Well, first of all, it is important to note that goal of friendlies is not necessarily to win them – Coach Stephen Keshi would have been more concerned about making sure his players stay injury-free. Only the match against Greece gave us any insight into what Keshi’s starting eleven at the World Cup is going to be. The Scotland match was a last chance for the fringe players to impress, while the USA match will have helped Keshi answer any lingering questions he may have had – can Yobo still lead this team from the start of matches, or can Ameobi lead the line alone upfront? The answer to both those questions based on the USA game would likely be NO, so barring injury, expect Omeruo to return to the starting line-up against Iran, while Emenike’s lively cameo against USA showed that he is still Nigeria’s No. 1 forward!

What’s most important for Nigerians and the team right now is to KEEP CALM. Just like at the African Cup of Nations last year, the Eagles seem to play best when the least is expected of them, when their backs are against the wall. Let’s also not forget that we have had far worse World Cup preparations in the past – in 1998, after losing consecutive friendlies to Germany, Yugoslavia and Holland to a total aggregate score of 9-1, we went on to beat Spain and Bulgaria in our first two World Cup matches and top our group. It was only when the team became overconfident and were already looking forward to a possible quarter-final clash against Brazil, that they were unceremoniously thrashed by Denmark in the 2nd Round!

This time around, they will know that the first game against Iran is a must-win game, to have any chance of progression to the second round, and they will get that job done. Bosnia in contrast has had a very strong build-up, including friendly victories against Cote d’Ivoire and Mexico, so there is no chance that Keshi and his team will underestimate them – avoiding defeat in that game will be critical for our chances for 2nd round progression. Going into the 3rd game against Argentina without needing a result would be ideal, but a lot will depend on if Argentina still needs a result by then to progress – ideally they will not and rest some key players!

Sergio Aguero dazzling 4 Nigerian players at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  Argentina won that game 1-0

Sergio Aguero dazzling 4 Nigerian players at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Argentina won that game 1-0

Nigeria has played Argentina in 3 of the 4 World Cups that the Super Eagles have appeared in, losing narrowly each time (2-1, to Claudio Cannigia goals at USA ’94, 1-0 to a Gabriel Batistuta header at Japan/Korea ’02, and 1-0 to a Gabriel Heinze header at South Africa 2010). Nigeria is well overdue a shock win against our old foes at the World Cup! So, can Nigeria beat the likes of Argentina and indeed the hosts Brazil, or is that just a pipe dream? Where will our support come from in Brazil? Here’s what Brazilian and Argentinian fans had to say about Nigeria’s chances, in Salvador just before World Cup Draw was made there in December – this video also features former Nigeria International Richard Owubokiri, who lives in Salvador – Enjoy!

If this is any indication of the reception that the Super Eagles should expect in Brazil, then we can count on some “home” support for the team even if there aren’t many Nigerians who can make the trip to Brazil to watch the matches lives – it’s just a pity that regardless of our progression, Nigeria will NOT play in the North-East of Brazil, particularly Salvador, where the links to Nigerian cuisine and culture and indeed the Yoruba language are incredibly apparent!

Lionel Messi darts past Osaze Odemwingie and Dickson Etuhu at the 2010 Word Cup -  who will come out on top on June 25th in Porto Alegre?

Lionel Messi darts past Osaze Odemwingie and Dickson Etuhu at the 2010 Word Cup –
who will come out on top on June 25th in Porto Alegre?

NIGERIA’S MEN ARE NO LONGER THE FASTEST IN AFRICA!!!

7 Jun

There was a time not too long ago when Nigerians were without doubt Africa’s fastest men. In the eighties and nineties especially, Nigerians dominated sprinting on the continent, and at the height of our powers at the Barcelona ’92 Olympics, Nigeria was 2nd only to the mighty USA in the men’s sprints, with TWO men in each of the Olympic sprint finals – Davidson Ezinwa in the 100 metres, Oluyemi Kayode (RIP) in the 200 metres, and Olapade Adeniken in both races! Those three athletes combined with Africa’s first 10-second flat sprinter, Chidi Imoh, to win an incredible Silver medal in the men’s 4x100m at Barcelona ’92 in an African Record, behind USA’s World Record Setting team! 

Indeed, the Top African Sprinters in the 100 metres of all time read like a who’s who of Nigerian sprinting, plus Namibian legend Frankie Fredericks, 3 Ghanaians, 2 Zimbabweans and 1 South African! A whopping NINE of the 16 Africans who have run 10 seconds or less are NIGERIAN (In fact, SEVEN of the Top 9 are Nigerian):

1. Olusoji Fasuba, 9.85s (NGR)

2. Frankie Fredericks, 9.86s (NAM)

3. Ngonidzashe Makusha, 9.89s (ZIM)

4. Seun Ogunkoya, 9.92s (NGR)

5. Davidson Ezinwa, 9.94s (NGR)

6. Olapade Adeniken, 9.95s (NGR)

6. Deji Aliu, 9.95s (NGR)

8. Francis Obikwelu, 9.97s (NGR) – he later ran 9.86s while representing Portugal: the European Record till this day!

8. Uchenna Emedolu, 9.97s (NGR)

10. Daniel Effiong, 9.98s (NGR)

10. Leonard Myles-Mills, 9.98s (GHA)

10. Gabriel Mvumvure, 9.98s (ZIM)

10. Simon Magakwe, 9.98s (RSA)

14. Aziz Zakari, 9.99s (GHA)

15. Chidi Imoh, 10.00s (NGR)

15. Eric Nkansah, 10.00s (GHA)

Despite Nigeria’s rich history in the Sprints, our men are no longer the fastest in Africa – Olusoji Fasuba was the last Nigerian to run under 10 seconds in 2006, when he set the current African Record of 9.85s, making him No. 1 on this list of Africa’s Top Sprinters. He’s a Bronze medallist in the 4x100m from the Athens 2004 Olympics, where along with Aaron Egbele, he combined with 2 others in the above list (Aliu and Emedolu) to finish a very close third behind Team GB and USA. Things are very different these days – here’s a look at Africa’s Top 10 Sprinters so far in the 2014 Season, which features only ONE Nigerian (South Africa dominates the 2014 list so far with SIX Athletes):

1. Simon Magakwe, 9.98s (RSA)

2. Akani Simbine, 10.02 (RSA)

3. Gerald Phiri, 10.03s (ZAM)

4. Wilfired Koffi, 10.11s (CIV)

5. Henricho Bruintjies, 10.17s (RSA)

6. Gideon Trotter, 10.23s (RSA)

6. Emile Erasmus, 10.23s (RSA)

6. Seye Ogunlewe, 10.23s (NGR)

9. Mosito Lehata, 10.26s (LES)

10. Thando Roto, 10.30s (RSA)

So what’s gone wrong with men’s sprinting in Nigeria? The women seem to be doing very well at the moment – Blessing Okagbare is Africa’s fastest woman ever in the 100 metres, and our 4×400 metres Girls won a brilliant Bronze medal at the 1st ever World Relays in May. In the nineties, when Nigeria’s men played second fiddle to USA, the whole world thought that the Americans could never be toppled, but the Jamaicans have disproved that formerly wide-held belief in emphatic fashion! Nigeria, unfortunately has gone so far in the opposite direction that most Jamaicans today actually think that Nigerians are long distance runners! If you don’t believe this, see for yourself in this Teaser from the upcoming Nigerian feature-length documentary, Making of Champions: “The History”

With the African Championships in Athletics coming up in Marrakesh in August, how much hope can we have that the likes for Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Obinna Metu can win medals for Nigeria, even just in Africa? Even in Nigeria’s traditional stronghold of the  4×100 metre relay, it would seem on current form that the South Africans will have that nicely sewn up, provided that they get the baton round safely! The Biennial African Championships will hold in Marrakesh, Morocco in 2014, from August 10th-14th, and will also serve as qualifiers for the quadrennial Continental Cup on Sept 13/14th in the same location!

Simon Magakwe lining up against Usain Bolt at the 2011 World Championships. Magakwe is the fastest African so far in 2014, joining the sub-10 sprinters club with a new PB of 9.98 seconds

Simon Magakwe lining up against Usain Bolt at the 2011 World Championships. Magakwe is the fastest African so far in 2014, joining the “Sub-10 Sprinters’ Club” with a new PB of 9.98 seconds

Zambia's Gerald Phiri has run a PB of 10.03 seconds in the 100 metres in 2014

Zambia’s Gerald Phiri has run a PB of 10.03 seconds in the 100 metres in 2014

Athlete Profile: Murielle Ahouré, Double World Silver Medallist for Cote d’Ivoire!!

5 Jun

With Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare not on the start-list for tonight’s 100 metres at the Rome leg of the Diamond League, we profile another African Athlete who will be racing the world’s best tonight – Cote d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahouré, the 2013 World Championship Silver Medallist in the 100 and 200 metres!

In the 20-year history of the World Championships in Athletics until 2013, Cote d’Ivoire had not won a single medal, but then they never had an athlete like Murielle Ahouré. So who is this African Sprint Queen, who along with Blessing is burning up tracks all over the world, and paving the way for a revival of Sprinting in West Africa?

Ahouré posing with Ivorien flag (Photo credit: Tips Magazine Officiel)

Ahouré posing with Ivorien flag (Photo: Tips Magazine Officiel)

Ahouré has an interesting back story – despite being born in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in 1987, her family moved to France when she was just two, and lived in various countries before settling in the US, where she finally took up sprinting at the age of 15. Her progression in the sport has been phenomenal – she has been running National Records in the 100 metres since 2009, and has lowered that record almost every single year since then, right down to 10.91s last year. Similarly, she also holds the Ivorian 200 metres record at 22.24s, and she is in a head-on race with Okagbare to be the first to break Mary Onyali’s 18 year-old African Record (22.07s)! Ahouré has a bullet start, and her favourite event is reportedly the 60 metres, where she set an African Record of 6.99s last year, making her the 7th fastest woman in history over the distance!

After finishing 7th and 6th in the 100 & 200 metres respectively at the London 2012 Olympics (11.00s & 22.57s), she followed that up in 2013 with Silver medals in both the 100 & 200 metres in Moscow (10.93s & 22.32s)the first medals ever World Championship medals for Cote d’Ivoire! She also has World Indoor Silver Medals in the 60 metres in 2012 and 2014, in 7.04s and 7.01s respectively! The athlete who switches effortlessly between her native French and English in a distinctive American accent, has spoken glowingly about her pride, along with Blessing, of representing a new era of sprinting in West Africa – Murielle on the Francophone side, Blessing on the Anglophone side!

200m World Championship Medallists at Moscow 2013 (L-R - Cote d'Ivoire's Ahoure won Silver, Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce won GOLD and Nigeria's Okagabre won Bronze)

200m World Championship Medallists at Moscow 2013 (L-R – Cote d’Ivoire’s Ahoure won Silver, Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce won GOLD and Nigeria’s Okagabre won Bronze)

Such is her popularity in her native Cote d’Ivoire, that she has even been labelled the “female Drogba”, and has had her whole nation simply transfixed on her performances, particularly during the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. Even their football stars such as Drogba have spoken profusely about how excited they have been to watch her race and win medals for their country! Aside from the Elephants, she is undoubtedly the most famous sportsperson that her nation has produced in a generation.

Cote d’Ivoire’s only medal at the Olympics, came in 1984, when their most famous quarter-miler, Gabriel Tiacoh, won an incredible Silver medal for his nation. He tragically passed away in 1992 to viral meningitis, and now there is an annual Track meet in Abidjan held in his honour, which Ahouré attended earlier this year – who would bet against her winning Cote d’Ivoire’s next Olympic medal at Rio 2016?

Murielle Ahouré will compete in the 100 metres against Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the Rome Diamond League TODAY at 8.30pm in Nigeria (7.30pm in Cote d’Ivoire).

SuperSport 5 (DSTV 205) will show the whole meet LIVE TONIGHT from 7 – 9pm Nigerian Time (6 – 8pm Ivorien Time).

Ahoure wins Silver

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

 

 

Super Eagles 23-man World Cup list…plus ALL the GOALS to get there…in 4 MINUTES!

3 Jun

Late last night, Head Coach Stephen Keshi, much to the frenzied expectation of Super Eagles fans everywhere, released his 23-man squad for the World Cup starting in just under 10 day’s time! Only SIX players from the squad listed for the 2010 World Cup return for Brazil – Enyeama, Ejide, Yobo, Echiéjilé, Odemwingie and Mikel Obi (though Obi later pulled out and was replaced by Ideye due to injury). Yobo and Odemwingie were beneficiaries of well-publicised apologies to Keshi, after they had been frozen out of the team since the 2013 African Nation’s Cup, mainly for reasons of insubordination. Osaze fans will be hoping the World Cup will be a twitter-free zone!

NIGERIA’S FINAL 23 FOR BRAZIL 2014

GOALKEEPERS: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim

DEFENDERS: Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiéjilé, Juwon Oshaniwa, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Efe Ambrose, Kunle Odunlami

MIDFIELDERS: John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Michael Uchebo, Reuben Gabriel

FORWARDS: Osaze Odemwingie, Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike, Michael Babatunde, Victor Moses, Uche Nwofor

In true Naija-style, the number of forwards listed outnumbers the midfielders, though it should be noted that 4 of the 7 forwards can and will actually be used as wingers, so they could and should be considered as midfielders! Perhaps the biggest surprise in the list perhaps Michael Babatunde – the little known left-sided player for Volyn Lutsk in the Ukrainian Premier League did not do much to enhance his reputation at the Confederations Cup last year, and his inclusion leaves many fans wondering why 2010 World Cup veterans Obinna Nsofor (who made the provisional 30, but reportedly was struggling with an injury in camp) and Chinedu Obasi (despite recently returning from injury for Schalke) did not make the cut!

There are no surprises in DEFENCE – Keshi kept the 7 who were in the ANC title-winning squad, plus Sunshine Stars’ Kunle Odunlami. This time around Yobo may have to be satisfied with the ‘experienced substitute’ role, but don’t bet against him adding to his 95 caps – he may even get to 100 if Nigeria goes deep in this World Cup!

In MIDFIELD, Despite not playing many games this season, it would seem that Reuben Gabriel is a Keshi-favourite, as he made the cut ahead  of the likes of Parma’s Joel Obi and Nosa Igiebor of Real Betis in central midfield (both of whom have struggled with long-term injuries, so perhaps not as big as a surprise as it could have been that they were excluded). Along with Ramon Azeez, Gabriel looks set to deputise for Mikel Obi and Onazi in the heart of the midfield.

In ATTACK, it would seem that Michael Uchebo and Uche Nwofor especially played their way from the fringes into squad with their goals against Scotland last week. It is unclear if Uchebo will be used upfront or in attacking midfield (or indeed if he will see any playing time), but from the little we’ve seen of Nwofor, he has an eye for goal and could be Nigeria’s secret weapon upfront!

Who else missed out? Well, TWO players who were until now seen as Keshi favourites ultimately did not make the cut – Sunday Mba and Nnamdi Oduamadi. It has been suggested that Mba likely missed out due to his late arrival at the Super Eagles camp in London, where he did not even show up in time to play in the Scotland friendly last week (reportedly due to visa issues). After a tournament MVP performance and some stunning game-winning goals from Enugu Rangers’ Ejike Uzoenyi at the Home-based Nations’s Cup (CHAN) this year, many expected him to have booked his plane to Brazil already, but he also just misses out as one of the 7 dropped from the provisional list!

Mba & Oduamadi scored crucial goals to help Nigeria lift the African Nation’s Cup and qualify for the World Cup respectively, and along with the Super Eagles’ mainstays such as Enyeama, Emenike, Mikel Obi and Moses, they were immortalised in this video celebrating Nigeria’s ROAD TO BRAZIL – all the African Nations Cup and World Cup Qualifying Goals…in just FOUR MINUTES!

Good luck to the team at the Big Dance – congratulations to the players who made the squad, and commiserations to those who didn’t – let’s all get behind the Super Eagles to do us proud at the World Cup, and go to levels that no Nigeria team has ever reached! (read: Quarter-finals minimum!)

Blessing sets new 200m PB of 22.23s, but finishes 2nd to Bowie’s shock victory!

1 Jun

Ever-improving Nigerian track star Blessing Okagbare ran a new Personal Best of 22.23 seconds in the women’s 200 metres, to take 2nd place at the Eugene leg of the Diamond League on Saturday. In a stacked race that included the likes of World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic Champion Alyson Felix and World Championship Silver Medallist Murielle Ahoure, Okagbare was beaten only by USA’s Tori Bowie, more renowned as a Long Jumper, who claimed her first 200 metre victory of note from lane ONE in a new PB of 22.18s! Alyson Felix announced her return from injury with a fine 3rd place in 22.44s, with Ahoure in 4th with 22.66s, and Fraser-Pryce surprisingly finishing in last place with 23.08s! Okagbare finished strongly, pulling away from the rest of the field, but ran out of track to overhaul Bowie who had come off the bend in the lead!

Skip to the 4th video in this playlist to view the race: 

Blessing has been in fine form this season – she’s run the 100m in an 11.19 second 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 Bowie will have sent a strong message to her fellow Long Jumper and the rest of the 200 metre field – she may have just announced her arrival as a top class sprinter and possible medallist in the coming years. With the USA not participating in the Commonwealth, Blessing is still looking good for GOLD in the 200 metres at the Games in July, but it will be interesting to see how Fraser-Pryce bounces back from her poor performance in this race!

Okagbare will be pleased to retain her 200 metre Diamond Race lead with an extra 2 points from her 2nd place finish, which takes her up to 6 points, while Tori Bowie moves to 4 points with her win. Next stop in the Diamond League’s women’s 200m will be in Oslo on June 11th, but don’t bet against seeing Okagbare line up for the 100 metres in Rome on June 6th – with her assault on the Diamond Races of 3 different events (100m, 200m, Long Jump), she is undoubtedly the Diamond League’s busiest athlete!

Can Blessing break Mary Onyali’s 18 year-old African 200 metre Record of 22.07 seconds, this season? Don’t bet against it – she already took the 100m African Record last year!

Be sure to follow @MakingOfChamps on Twitter & Instagram and like us on Facebook for all your Diamond League updates this season, including TV schedules, live twitter, instagram & 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

 

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