Commonwealth Games 2014: Nigeria’s Sprint Queen, Blessing Okagbare takes 100m gold in Glasgow

Blessing Okagbare see off Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart to win 100 metres gold
Africa’s fastest woman is now the fastest woman in the Commonwealth. Blessing Okagbare backed up a series of scintillating runs at Hampden Park to claim a stunning Commonwealth Games 100 metres title ahead of Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart on Monday night.
The Nigerian, who had gone in as the pre-race favourite, stormed away from the field at the gun and beat off a dogged effort from Campbell-Brown to prevail in a Commonwealth Games record of time of 10.85 sec, almost two-tenths of a second ahead of the Jamaicans.
Not since the Victoria Games of 1994 – when Mary Onyali and Christy Opara-Thompson completed a one-two – had Nigeria been represented on the Commonwealth medal podium in the women’s 100m. Yet ahead of her first Commonwealth appearance, Okagbare had confidently announced her plan was “to come back with two medals” in the 100m and 200m sprint events.
Almost a year to the day after setting an African record of 10.79 sec, the 25-year-old had done everything to suggest she would consign her nation’s plight to the history books, barely breaking a sweat in the build-up and qualifying fastest for the final in a season’s best time of 10.93 sec.
If anyone looked like catching Okagbare under the Hampden Park floodlights it was Campbell-Brown. In the twilight of her career, and in the absence of Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Campbell-Brown finally had the chance to win a first Commonwealth gold medal 12 years after her Games debut in Manchester. More importantly
Campbell-Brown had looked assured, progressing through both the heats and semi-finals second-fastest behind Okagbare, although a season’s best of 10.86 secs ominously suggested there was far more to come in the final.

Author: nmmin

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