Tag Archives: Veronica Campbell-Brown

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 faces stiff test for 100m Commonwealth GOLD, Asumnu is a possible finalist!

26 Jul

Exactly 20 years ago, one of the country’s most outstanding athletes, Mary Onyali returned a time of 11.06secs to win the women’s 100m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, and Nigeria’s sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare will be aiming for same as Athletics takes off in Glasgow on Sunday.

However, Okagbare, who is the nation’s brightest prospect at the games, will have her work cut out for her as she goes head-to-head with Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye and Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown in a bid to secure her first Commonwealth Games title two decades after a Nigerian last won the crown.

Compatriot, Damola Osayomi won the 100m in Delhi four years ago but had to be stripped of the medal and banned after her doping test came back positive for the stimulant methylhexanamine, while Natasha Mayers of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was elevated to first position.

Okagbare recently ran a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.97secs at the Monaco Diamond League, but Ahye is unbeaten in the 100m this season, as is  USA’s Tori Bowie, who currently World Leader this year with 10.80secs. Ahye tops the Commonwealth ranking with the world’s second fastest time of 10.85s, while Campbell-Brown follows closely with 10.86s:

2014 CWG Womens 100 list copy

Even though Okagbare comes to the competition with the third fastest time, she could still storm to gold at the Hampden Park on Monday if she is able to rediscover the form that saw her lower the African 100m record to 10.79s – that time would almost certainly claim GOLD but given that Blessing has been concentrating on the 200 metres this season, this might have had an effect on both her speed and her confidence to claim the 100m crown!

Fellow Nigerian Gloria Asumnu also looks like a good bet for the 100m final as she occupies the 13th position in Commonwealth with a time of 11.15secs – even though EIGHT of the athletes ahead of her are Jamaican, only 3 of them can compete at the Games!

MoC PREDICTION: Our heart say GOLD for Blessing, but our head says it will be Silver or Bronze in the 100 metres. Gloria will do well to get to the final, but a medal will be out of her reach, unless she can run a PB and go under 11 seconds.

The good news is, with these two in our 4x100m team, they should be in good shape for a Relay medal next weekend! (Silver or Bronze – Jamaica will get the GOLD, unless they drop the baton or are disqualified)!

 

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