–Runs 53.34s at Mt Sac Relays to prepare for new outdoor season
Reigning African and Commonwealth sprints queen, Blessing Okagbare seems determined to make history as Nigeria’s first world champion come this summer in Beijing,China at the IAAF World Championships.
To achieve this,the African 100m record holder at 10.79 seconds is going the way of famous past and present world champions like Marion Jones,Carmeliter Jeter and even her arch-rival,Jamaica’s Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pyrce who all ran 400m races pre-season to build up their strenght and endurance.
Okagbare last weekend ran a new 53.34 400m personal best to place fifth at the Mt. SAC Relays held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the Mt. San Antonio College campus in Walnut, California.
The six-time Nigeria 100m champion is epected to officially begin her season on May 9 at the Jamaican invitational in Kingston,Jamaica.
Last year Okagbare dominated the African and Commonwealth sprints scene,annexing the 100m gold at the African championships in Morocco and successfully completed a sprints double in Glasgow,Scotland to become only the fourth athlete in Commonwealth Games history after Raelene Ann Boyle (1970),Merlene Ottey (1990) and Debbie Ferguson (2002) to win the 100m/200m gold.She also set a new 10.85 seconds Games record.
She ran a new 22.23 seconds personal best in the 200m to become the third fastest woman in the Nigeria all-time list behind the duo of Mary Onyali (22.07) and Falilat Ogunkoya (22.22).
Also preparing hard for the season is 400m barrier runner,Ajoke Muizat Odumosu who is actually staging a return to the track after childbirth.
Odumosu who holds the national record at 54.40 and is the only Nigerian quartermile hurdler to have dipped inside 55 seconds (Kemi Adekoya achieved her own after switching allegiance to Bahrain) ran 58.19 at a meeting in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to begin her comeback bid.
Tyron Akins (13.75) and Alex Al-Ameen (13.82) also kickstarted their outdoor campiagns in the USA.
Last week CT&FM reported the impressive showing of former Nigeria 400m queen,Reginna George who ran 51.89 to begin her season after the disaster 2014 season was for her.