BY JOHNNY EDWARD
Nigeria sprint star Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor has admitted that her early start in Sunday’s triumph at the Shanghai Diamond League 100m event sealed her stunning victory over the big-name sprinters tipped to win the event.
Okagbare-Ighoteguonor finished ahead of Olympic and world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, last year’s world leader Tori Bowie, fastest in the field this year Michelle-Lee Ayhe and Veronica Campbell-Brown by almost a full metre in 10.98 seconds.
She told iaaf.org in an interview that sometimes she gets it right, sometimes she gets it wrong but the win gives her a lot of confidence.
“Normally I don’t have the best start, but now I was leading from the beginning,” the Nigerian sprinter said.
“It does (give me confidence), but it doesn’t change anything. There’s a lot of talented people out there, like me, so I just have to keep working hard. I don’t want to be left behind.
“A performance like that gives me a little edge and a bit of confidence but I still have to put more work in and keep pushing forward.
“I feel, I think and I hope I can. I’m working towards it. I hope it happens.” she answered when asked if she can make a real charge at being the No.1 in the world this year.
Okagbare-Ighoteguonor also hinted that she will be competing in the long jump event this year.
She said: “I will, because I just want to see how far I can jump.”
Despite her win, and despite last year’s 10.85/22.25 sprint double at the Commonwealth Games, Okagbare-Ighoteguonor said she still feels like a novice in the straight sprint.