–Sets New Championships record
By Dare Esan:
Blessing Okagbare ran a new 11.06 seconds (with a minus 1.0mps head wind) championships record Thursday to win a record sixth consecutive 100m title.
Gloria Asumnu ran 11.17 new personal season’s best to place second while Justin Sule was third in 11.63 seconds. USA-import, Dominique Duncan who recently agreed to dump her country of birth for Nigeria placed a disappointing sixth (11.68) thereby querying Athletic Federation of Nigeria’s intention for recruiting her.Home girls Deborah Odeyemi and Thomas Goodness (11.65 and 11.66 respectively) came fourth and fifth.
Okagbare’s feat has made her only the second woman in recent championships history to win the 100m title six times in a role after Mary Onyali who won the title between 1991 and 1996.She however did it in style by consigning Oludamola Osayomi’s 11.08 seconds championship record run in 2008 to the archive.
The 2013 Moscow IAAF World Championships silver and bronze medallist was the huge favourite to retain her title and equal Onyali’s feat.She was also tipped to become only the third sprinter in championships’ recent history after Onyali (11.09) and Osayomi to break the 11.10 barrier and this she did in a record-breaking fashion. Her championship best prior to Thursday’s new personal season’s best performance was the 11.16 she ran in 2009 at the Abuja National stadium to win her first blue ribband title.
The Beijing Olympics long jump bronze medallist and reigning African 100m record holder (10.79) now looks a sure bet to complete a sprints double by annexing the 200m title tomorrow as well as extend her historic showing to the second successive year by adding the long jump title.
In the women’s discus throw event decided Thursday afternoon,Chinwe Okoro improved from a silver medal finish in 2009 to win the gold with a throw of 55.74m.She looks on course to adding the shot put title to it to become one of the few throwers who have successfully completed a shot put,discus throw double.
David Joy Abiye won the women’s 1500m (4:30.08) ahead of Agber Shimenenge (4:31.82) and Asamu Esther (4:31.89).