Tag Archives: Tori Bowie

Okagbare rues missed chance in 100m Diamond League Final, seeks redemption in 200m!

30 Aug
The absence of world leader and major contender for the jackpot in the women’s 100m, Tori Bowie at the Zurich leg of the IAAF Diamond League, was meant to be a blessing in disguise (no pun intended) for Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, but it was Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown who stole the show at the end of the day as she coasted home in 11.04s, to win the $50,000 at stake.

Murielle Ahouré was a close second (also in 11.04s), while Okagbare posted 11.06s in third place in the first series of finals for the Diamond League, which ends with a second series of finals on September 5th in Brussels, where she will be going for the 200m, and where 15 other events would be decided.

Bowie pulled out of the Zurich 100m due to injury she sustained in the Birmingham leg of the meet, which made Zurich a winner takes all affair as anyone who won it could have taken home the 100m Diamond Race crown. Prior to the race, Okagbare occupied 6th place in the 100m standings, and victory in Zurich would have handed her the top prize as long as Kerron Stewart, who occupied 2nd place in the Race with 7 points, did not finish as the runner-up; the Jamaican finished a distant fifth in 11.19s and Blessing would no doubt be ruing her lost chance. A win in the final would have been the African & Commonwealth Champion’s first ever in the Diamond League series.

Okagbare has run more 200m races than 100 this year, as the race in Zurich was only her fourth in the Diamond League. However, she was sensational in the Commonwealth where she claimed the sprint double with a Championship Record (CR) of 10.85s in the 100m, and 22.25s in the 200m. Even though she confessed in Marrakech, venue of the African Senior Championships, that she was already tired and hoping to bring her season to an end in Brussels, she will be hoping to bounce back to take the 200m in Brussels, where she is a top contender for the prize, currently in second place with 11 points, behind Allyson Felix who reached 13 points following the Nigerian’s absence in Stockholm a little over a week ago.

Not only would she have Felix to deal with in Brussels, but also Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands who recently posted a National Record (NR) and world leading time of 22.03s at the European Championships!

Okagbare slips in Lausanne 100m, but returns for the Paris Diamond League 200m tomorrow!

4 Jul

Blessing Okagbare’s much awaited return to Diamond League action in Lausanne last night proved to be an anti-climax, as she stumbled out of her blocks and opted not to finish the race, as it was clear that she had lost it in the first few strides. Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, who is quickly emerging as Blessing’s main rival for the 100m Commonwealth GOLD, took full advantage and raced to victory in 10.98 seconds, with Cote d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahouré second in a photo finish with the same time! Following the the late withdrawals of Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and USA’s Tori Bowie from the race, the path had seemed clear for an Okagbare victory, but her slip put paid to those hopes, though after her trip she would have been more concerned with staying injury-free rather than finishing the race – and rightly so!

The biggest story of the night was undoubtedly the men’s 100 metres, which saw the return of Tyson Gay from his well-publicised 1 year drug ban, a punishment that many in the Athletics world have felt was too lenient. Tyson Gay ran 9.93s on his return, placing second in an American 1-2-3, with Justin  Gatlin winning with a new world leading (WL) time this season of 9.80s and Mike Rodgers third in 9.98s – ALL THREE of them have served drug bans at some stage of their careers! Kirani James and LeShawn Merritt continued their intriguing 400m rivalry, with James coming out on top this time in 43.74s (a new WL, PB and National Record for Grenada!), with Merritt 2nd in an Season’s Best (SB) of 43.92s. Jamaica’s Yohan Blake finished  a disappointing 6th in the 200m in 20.48s, with Panama’s Alonso Edward winning in 19.84s (SB), while Qatar’s Nigerian-born Femi Ogunode was 5th in 20.25s.

Thankfully, Okagbare fans will not have to wait long to see her in action again, as she will appear in the 200 metres at the Paris Diamond League tomorrow (Saturday July 5th)! Once again, it is a loaded field and Blessing will to be on the very top of her game to best the likes of USA’s Multiple World and Olympic 200m Champion, Alyson Felix and Jamaica’s Current 200m World Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, though the latter has struggled for form this season. Tori Bowie is also on the start-list in Paris, and she will certainly be a threat to Okagbare’s hopes of winning this – one might recall that in her very first Diamond League 200m race after switching events from the Long Jump, Bowie shocked Okagbare and the rest of the field from Lane 1 in Eugene!

In other events holding at the ‘Meeting Areva’ in the Stade de France tomorrow, Okagbare has again opted not to participate in the long jump event that will see the likes of reigning Olympic and World champion, Brittney Reese, Tianna Bartoletta and Funmi Jimoh (all of USA). Former 400m World champion, Amantle Montsho, is still trying to find her best form this season (SB 50.37s) and will race in the keenly contested women’s 400m, alongside USA’s Olympic Champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who has run sub-50 this season (SB 49.66s), as well as Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills, who has posted an impressive time of 50.05s this season.

There is an interesting inclusion in the men’s 100m as a British athlete with Nigerian roots, Chijindu Ujah, is set to make his Diamond League debut. The 100m Champion at the 2013 European Junior Championships recently broke the 10 second barrier with a time of 9.96sec in Hengelo, Holland last month, making him the third fastest Brit in history! He will go against the world’s fastest man this season, Richard Thompson (9.82s) from Trinidad and Tobago, and the likes of veteran former World Champion Kim Collins and the Jamaican trio of Nickel Ashmaede, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nesta Carter!

For Nigerian viewers, SuperSport 6 (DSTV Channel 206) will show the Meeting Areva (Paris Diamond League) LIVE from 7-9pm on Saturday July 5th. Blessing Okagbare goes in the women’s 200 metres at 7.42pm – Don’t miss it!

 

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

 

 

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

 

athletic heat

The best of Nigerian Athletics

Voomfootball

Premier League news, features and tactical analysis

Sports with Enee

A personal commentary of sports issues in Nigeria and the world

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.