Okagbare settles for third place as Schippers stuns 200m field at Glasgow Diamond League!

13 Jul

The late withdrawals of World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and this season’s world leader Tori Bowie from the women’s 200m race at the IAAF Diamond League in Glasgow had led many (or misled, as it turns out) into believing that the encounter was going to be a two-horse race between Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and three-time world champion, Allyson Felix.

However the duo did not bargain for a third party in the person of Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands! It was a keenly contested race and Felix had all but won the race after holding off Okagbare by almost a metre, but it was Schippers who reigned supreme as she out-dipped the American on the line to win the 200m by just 0.01s, in a National Record (NR) of 22.34s, just two hours after setting another NR of 11.03s in the 100m B event!

Schippers is a 2013 World Championships bronze medallist in the heptathlon and she has also won European and World Junior titles in the same event. Felix came out a close second in 22.35s while Okagbare was third to cross the finish line in 22.41s, the slowest time she has clocked in her 2014 Diamond League campaign. Despite finishing 3rd in Glasgow, Blessing still tops the Diamond League standings with 11 points, with Felix close behind in 2nd with 9 points, and Schippers and Tori Bowie tied in third on 4 points.  Without the American threat at the Commonwealth Games, Okagbare still looks like a good bet for Commowealth GOLD in the 200 metres, though it remains to be seen if World Champion Fraser-Pryce can stage a miraculous upturn in her 200m form this season in the next 2 weeks! 

The 100 metres is a whole other story though – she will have the Jamaicans to contend with, along with Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, who has churned out several impressive 100m performances this season. She is unbeaten in 9 races this season and took another victory in Glasgow in a time of 11.01s, ahead of Fraser-Pryce (11.10s) and Cote d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahouré (11.17s). Ahye is the world leader over 100m this season and has gone sub-11 at three different times (10.85s, 10.88s and 10.98s)!

In the 400m, Regina George’s return to the Diamond League circuit ended with a sixth place finish and a time of 51.82s, in a race that included USA’s duo of Francena McCorory (who won the race in 49.93s) and Sanya Richards-Ross (who was second in 50.39s), and the Jamaican pair of Novlene Williams-Mills and Ann Stephanie Mcpherson who placed third and fourth respectively (50.60s and 50.98s). Commonwealth Games defending champion, Amantle Montsho was fifth in 51.35s. The former world champion is not going to have an easy ride as far as the defence of her title is concerned, going by her inconsistency in the Diamond League, where she has only managed one win this season.

As it is, the odds are stacked against Regina’s getting to the podium at the Commonwealth Games where she is set to make her debut, because even compatriots, Folashade Abugan, Omolara Omotosho and Patience Okon George who finished ahead of her at the national trials, are not left out of the quest to win an individual 400m medal in Glasgow.

Defending Commonwealth and African Champion Tosin Oke finished fourth in the triple jump behind USA’s trio of Olympic champion, Christian Taylor (17.36m), world leader Will Claye (17.27m) and Chris Benard (16.54m). Oke’s leap of 16.51m is still some way off his PB of 17.23m; he may need to jump over 17 metres to successfully defend his Commonwealth title in Glasgow in a couple of weeks, and his African crown in Marrakech in August!

Botswana’s Isaac Makwala maintained his brilliant from to storm to the men’s 400m in 44.71s, ahead of London 2012 gold medallist, Christopher Brown (44.94s) of the Bahamas and Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson Smith (44.97s). For Makwala this was the second fastest time of his career – it will be recalled that only last week he eclipsed Gary Kikaya’s African Record of 44.10s with a new time of 44.01s in Switzerland, and went on to post a scintillating performance in the 200m just ninety minutes later in 19.96s, another National Record!

Meanwhile 800m Olympic Champion David Rudisha confirmed his readiness for the Commonwealth Games as he cruised to the 15th Diamond League win of his career with a world lead of 1:43.34. The victory has been long in coming for the 25-year old who after injury last year is just coming back to the form that saw him emerge as the World Record Holder in the 2-lap event at the London 2012 Olympics, and the only man ever to have broken the 1:41 barrier in the 800m.

The men’s 100m was won by Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade, who atoned for his false start in Paris last week to cross the line in an SB of 9.97s, same as Michael Rodgers of the USA who came second and  Nesta Carter in third in an SB of 9.98s. Former world champion, Yohan Blake pulled up and fell in the middle of the race and had to be wheeled away from the track, a sad scene that may signal the end of a second injury plagued season for the 2nd fastest man in history over the 100m and 200m!

One Response to “Okagbare settles for third place as Schippers stuns 200m field at Glasgow Diamond League!”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Another $50,000 up for grabs, as Okagbare chases 200m African Record & Diamond League Trophy! | Making of Champions - September 4, 2014

    […] her fifth 200m in the Diamond League series this year (after Shanghai, Eugene, Paris and Glasgow). Both Felix and Schippers beat Okagbare to the line in the Glasgow leg, so she will be wary of the threat they both pose. The only other woman to beat her over 200m this […]

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