Okagbare Raises Olympics Hopes
Posted: Jul 15, 2012
With 10.99 Secs 100m
Nigeria’s queen of the track, Blessing Okagbare yesterday in London ran a new 10.99 seconds personal best in the 100m to restate her resolve to become the first Nigerian nay African woman to win a blue ribband medal at the Olympics come next month.
The four-time Nigeria 100m champion was at her fastest best at the AVIVA IAAF Diamond League meeting in Crystal Palace in London where she defeated two of the best sprinters in the world,reignig world champion and training mate,Carmeliter Jeter of the USA and Jamaaica’s reigning Olympic champion,Fraser-Pryce Shelly-Ann/
The former African 100m champion ran 11.01 in the final to beat Jeter (11.03) and Fraser-Pryce who came incredibly last after a faulty start (11.82).The Jamaican had earlier beaten Okagbare in the heat,running 10.93 seconds against Okagbare’s 10.99 seconds.
Okagbare’s new personal best run has thus firmly placed her as a genuine contender for one of the three medals that will be on offer on Saturday August 4 when the 100m final is run at the Olympics in London.
She has also become only the fifth woman in Nigerian 100m history to run a sub-11 seconds in the 100m behind Chioma Ajunwa (10.84),Glory Alozie (10.90),Mary Onyali (10.97) and reigning All Africa Games queen,Oludamola Osayomi (10.99).
Okagbare’s impressive,morale boosting run has also lifted the mood in Team Nigeria training camp in Surrey,London following reports that three of the athletes registered for the Games have tested positive to performance enhancing substances.
The three athletes,Shot Putter,Vivian Chukwuemeka,Sprinter,Lawretta Ozoh and quartermiler,Reginna George tested positive to the undisclosed banned subsances last month at the Nigeria championships held in Calabar,Cross River state.
Complete Sports gathered that while both Chukwuemeka and Ozoh spiced their systems with steroids,George,daughter of Philip George,a former Nigerian track star tested positive to a stimulant reportedly from a medication she is taking for an ailment.
George,it was further gathered obtained a medical clearance for the medication and may be off the drugs hook if she truly disclosed to doping officials she was on that particular medication, a practice not uncommon in track and field.
The athletes are awaiting dates for a hearing to be conducted by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria and can ask for their B samples to be untested if they plead innocent or suspect foul play.
If thye B samples confirm the initial result,Chukwuemeka will be banned for life as a second offender.Three years ago,she tested positive to a performance enhancing drug and was slammed a two-year ban by the AFN.She finished serving the ban last year and has been on the best run of her career,topping it with a new personal best and African record of 18.86m in the shot put at the African Championships in Athletics which ended early this month in Port Novo,Republic of Benin.
With the positive dope tests,Nigeria will lose the number one position she won at the Championships ahead of Kenya after the withdrawal of the gold medals won by the women’s 4x100m team which Ozoh anchored to a new championships record.Chukwuemeka’s shot put gold will also be wuthdrawn but it will be awarded to another Nigerian,Chinwe Okoro who won the silver medal in the event.
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