–George to make IAAF Diamond League debut
By Dare Esan:
Commonwealth and Africa 100m queen, Blessing Okagbare will compete in her second 200m of the season at the Athletissima, the ninth meeting of the 2015 IAAF Diamond League at the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise in Lausanne on Thursday 9 July.
The Nigerian, who ran her second fastest 100m (10.80) career best last Saturday in Paris will also open her long jump account in Lausanne.
Okagbare ran her first 200m at the Adidas Grand Prix (IAAF Diamond League) in New York,USA on June 13 2015 and placed second (22.67 ) behind USA’s Tori Bowie (22.23).
Bowie will not be in Lausanne but world leader (21.98) and multiple world champion, Allyson Felix will and poses agreat threat to the Nigerian emerging victors in the race.
Also confirmed for the race is Cote D’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure who beat Okagbare to the silver medal of the event at the IAAF World Championships two years ago in Mosow, Russia. Ahoure holds a personal season’s best of 22.29.
Two other Americans,Bryant Dezerea who holds a personal season’s best of 22.18 (also her personal best) and Tarmoh Jeneba (22.29 personal season’s best) as well as Britain’s Williams Bianca (23.05 personal season’s best) are also confirmed for the race.
In the long jump, Okagbare will compete against another reigning world leader,sprinter cum jumper,Bartoletta Tianna (7.12 best and world lead).
Meanwhile quartermiler Regina George will make her IAAF Diamond League debut in Laussane.
Touted as the genuine successor to reigning African 400m record holder, Falilat Ogunkoya,George holds a personal season’s best of 51.30 and,on paper is the second slowest woman in the near star-tudded field.
She will be up against five time world champion,Sanya Richards-Ross and fellow American,Nathasa Hastings.
George has a personal best of 50.84 seconds to become the fifth Nigerian woman to break 51 seconds in the event after the trio of Falilat Ogunkoya (49.10),Charity Opara (49.29) and Fatimah Yusuf (49.43A) who have broken 50 seconds and Olabisi Afolabi who holds a personal best of 50.30 seconds.