Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare on Saturday in London entered the record books as Africa’s fastest woman of all time. After first setting a new African record with her 10.86 secs time in her semi final race, Okagbare upped the mark in the finals racing to an awesome 10.79secs to effectively beat the record of former compatriot, Gloria Alozie, set 13 years ago.
Before the finals, Jamaica’s reigning Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, ran a world leading 10.77 seconds to win thereby setting the stage for a keenly contested battle in the final.
Fortunately, Okagbare was in her best frame of mind in the final, storming out of the blocks in bullet-like fashion to win the race and the maximum IAAF Diamond League points to take her tally to 10, two behind Fraser-Pryce who could only manage a fourth place. Barbara Pierre of the United States (10.85) came second behind Okagbare.
With Saturday’s performance, Okagbare further brightens Nigeria’s hope for a medal at next month’s 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Aside that she is on the path of rewriting history to become the second Nigerian woman after Alozie to win an individual medal at the IAAF flagship championships.