MAKING OF CHAMPIONS http://www.makingofchamps.com Lifting The Lid On How CHAMPIONS Are Made In Track & Field!!! Mon, 25 May 2015 19:53:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Usain Bolt goes for the 200m as Asafa Powell targets Meeting Record in Ostrava! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/25/usain-bolt-goes-for-the-200m-as-asafa-powell-targets-meeting-record-in-ostrava/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/25/usain-bolt-goes-for-the-200m-as-asafa-powell-targets-meeting-record-in-ostrava/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 19:50:28 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4934 All eyes will be on multiple Olympic and World Championships medallist Usain Bolt, as he makes his first European outing of the season at the 54th Golden Spikes meeting in Ostrava, on Tuesday (27). The current world record holder in both the 100/200m has made it six wins out of six appearances at the IAAF

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All eyes will be on multiple Olympic and World Championships medallist Usain Bolt, as he makes his first European outing of the season at the 54th Golden Spikes meeting in Ostrava, on Tuesday (27).

The current world record holder in both the 100/200m has made it six wins out of six appearances at the IAAF World Challenge Competition, and is confident of achieving a seventh win in the 200m, which is his third in this series and the first for this year. He also holds the Meeting Records (MR) in the 200m (19.83s) and 300m (30.97s) respectively at the competition.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Bolt explained that he is in “much better shape” than he was for his early season races, as he will focus primarily on the 200m this season, something he believes will also boost his performances over 100m: “I plan to use as many races as possible to get in shape for this year’s World Championships, which is the ‘big one’”, he said.

Incidentally, current World No.2 and countryman, Asafa Powell will be competing in the 100m against the likes of Great Britain’s Richard Kilty. Powell has had a good start to the season, running a then World Lead (WL) of 9.84s in Kingston Jamaica, and is in good shape to erase the MR of 9.83s.

The impressive form of fierce rival, USA’s Justin Gatlin has created more suspense ahead of the World Championships, after he ran a Personal Best (PB) and World Leading mark of 9.74s in Doha two weeks ago, unseating Powell as the world No1. As such, athletics fans will be waiting with bated breath as the two-time 100m/200m World Champion runs at the Mestsky Stadium on Tuesday.

Also competing in Ostrava would be current Olympic Champion and world record holder David Rudisha who would also open his European campaign over 600m, where he has the fourth fastest time over this distance (1:13.71).

The world women’s 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova will be competing on home soil in her first race of the year and will go against African champion, South Africa’s Wenda Nel, who set a PB and World Lead (WL) of 54.37s after coasting to victory ahead of Olympic Silver medallist Lashinda Demus and her US compatriot Tiffany Williams at the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing last week.

The world No.3 and No.4 in the women’s 100m hurdles will be engaged in a battle of superiority. Sharika Nelvis of the USA ran a PB of 12.54s after finishing second behind world leader and country woman, Jasmine Stowers in Doha, and is set for European champion, Tiffany Porter who came third in the same race in 12.65s, despite having a Season’s Best (SB) of 12.56s.

(Photo Credit: www.irishexaminer.com)

(Photo Credit: www.irishexaminer.com)

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Nigeria’s High Jump Queen Doreen Amata jumps near lifetime best at IAAF World Challenge in Dakar! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/24/nigerias-high-jump-queen-doreen-amata-jumps-near-lifetime-best-at-iaaf-world-challenge-in-dakar/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/24/nigerias-high-jump-queen-doreen-amata-jumps-near-lifetime-best-at-iaaf-world-challenge-in-dakar/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 15:13:36 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4909 There is no stopping Nigeria’s Record Holder in the women’s High Jump, Doreen Amata this year! The All-Africa Games two-time champion was in blistering form at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Senegal over the weekend where she made her best jump in four years, winning the event with a distance of 1.94m. Incidentally, her

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There is no stopping Nigeria’s Record Holder in the women’s High Jump, Doreen Amata this year! The All-Africa Games two-time champion was in blistering form at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting in Senegal over the weekend where she made her best jump in four years, winning the event with a distance of 1.94m.

Incidentally, her new mark is the qualifying mark for the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. Amata’s eye-catching performance has moved her up from No.16 on the IAAF Top List to No.3! It goes without saying that the athlete is on course to break her own National Record (NR) of 1.95m, which was set in 2008 and equaled at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

The jumper already disclosed to Making of Champions her target to set a new NR, jump above 2m and secure her third consecutive All-Africa Games title in 2015. She looks set to jump a new NR, going by her consistence thus far.

She opened her 2015 season at a meeting in Atlanta, Georgia last month where she finished 3rd with 1.85m. She went on to win her event at the highly competitive Drake Relays a few weeks later with a Season’s Best (SB) of 1.90m. With her leap of 1.94m in Dakar, it is safe to assume that Amata will continue the progression,and it will be a massive feat indeed if she goes on to set a new PB.

The forthcoming World Championships in August will be Amata’s third outing at the biennial competition. She competed in Berlin in 2009 where she was unable to make it to the final, with a jump of 1.85m. She improved in Daegu two years later, qualifying for the final in 1.95m, before finishing joint 8th with Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Radzivil with a distance of 1.93m in the final.

She didn’t qualify for the Moscow Championships in 2013 and will be aiming to become the first Nigerian woman to get a medal of any colour in her event at the World Championships. Amata must be commended for getting her jumping career back on track single-handedly, without any support from the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) or National Sports Commission (NSC), lending credence to the fact that when there is a will, there will surely be a way!

Four other Nigerians were in action in Dakar, including National 100m Champion, Mark Jelks who has an SB of 10.36s, which he returned in Lawrence in the US last month. Jelks competed in both the 100m and 200m, finishing 5th in the 100m with a wind-aided time of 10.20s (+5.1 m/s) behind winner, Ramon Gittens of Barbados (10.08s), Roscoe Engel(10.12s), Henrichio Bruintjies (10.16s) and Zambia’s Siame Sydney (10.18s).

Jelks, the second fastest man in Africa in 2014, placed 3rd in the 200m in 20.88s, also wind-aided (+3.7 m/s). Winner of the 100m at the 2nd AFN All Comers Meet in Lagos and emerging talent, Nkem Ezealah put up an impressive show at her first international outing as a senior, placing 3rd in 11.54s (+2.1 m/s).

The race was won by Cote d-Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou who finished 3rd and 2nd respectively in 100m/200m at the last African Championships. The Ivoirian was denied a Personal Best (PB) and Meeting Record (MR) due to the excessive wind. She clocked 11.08s, as against her lifetime best of 11.20s which she equalled in Montgeron just a week ago.

African Championships Bronze medallist, Patience Okon George won the women’s 400m with an SB of 52.12s, while hurdler, Amaka Ogoegbunam, who took Silver in Marrakech last year, finished 4th in the same race in 54.06s. The competition is Ogoegbunam’s first in 2015, having last competed at the IAAF Continental Cup in September last year.

Meanwhile national athlete, Miles Ukaoma placed 3rd in 400m hurdles with 49.39s at the Ponce IAAF World Challenge Grand Prix in Puerto Rico.

(Photo Credit: AthleticsAfrica)

(Photo Credit: AthleticsAfrica)

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Obikwelu still running for Portugal but giving back to Nigerian Athletics! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/21/obikwelu-still-running-for-portugal-but-giving-back-to-nigerian-athletics/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/21/obikwelu-still-running-for-portugal-but-giving-back-to-nigerian-athletics/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 09:37:42 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4898 At the age of 36, Francis Obikwelu still runs for his adopted country, Portugal. This is coming eleven years after he made history by becoming the first individual athlete to win a medal for the Iberian nation at the Olympics, winning silver in the men’s 100m at the 2004 Athens Games. We caught up with

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At the age of 36, Francis Obikwelu still runs for his adopted country, Portugal. This is coming eleven years after he made history by becoming the first individual athlete to win a medal for the Iberian nation at the Olympics, winning silver in the men’s 100m at the 2004 Athens Games.

We caught up with Obikwelu at the 2015 World Relays in Bahamas, where he talked about his aspirations to qualify to run at both the 2015 World Championships and the Rio Olympics next year! He also offered some word of advice to the Nigerian team:

 

It is interesting that Obikwelu is still considered good enough to make the Portuguese team that competed in the men’s 4x100m event at the World Relays. Although they didn’t get to the final, they would be hoping to earn a qualification spot for both the Worlds and the Olympics, which means that Obikwelu could still be on the plane to Brazil next year.

Even before he started running for Portugal, he was already running under 10 seconds in the 100m for Nigeria. Between 2000 and 2001, he did 9.97s and 9.98s (twice) in the men’s 100m, and went on to break 10 seconds four more times for Portugal. He remains the only person to have run sub 20 seconds in the 200m for Nigeria, so it does make one wonder how we (that is, Nigeria) allowed one of the best athletes to ever grace the tracks for the nation slip through our fingers.

Obikwelu’s reasons for switching nationality are well documented. Most Nigerians surely had sour-grapes seeing him in the colours of Portugal, especially after he won that unprecedented Olympic Silver medal for his adopted country. – no male athlete representing Nigeria has ever won an individual medal in Track & Field at the Olympics.

In that epic race in 2004, Obikwelu came into the contest unheralded, but stunned the world when he finished second behind America’s Justin Gatlin. Looking at that line-up for that 100m final, four out of the eight finalists still race competitively today:  Kim Collins, Asafa Powell, Gatlin and Obikwelu. They each still have a shot of being at the Olympics next year. You don’t see many athletes well into their 30’s still running competitively, when bodies are already giving in.

How is Obikwelu giving back to Nigeria?

This year, Obikwelu teamed up with Making of Champions for the Top Sprinter reality show, travelling to Nigeria from his base in Europe alongside fellow Olympics Silver medallist Glory Alozie. They teamed up with Olympic Bronze medallists Deji Aliu and Uchenna Emedolu to complete the quartet of Top Sprinter judges for the show.  So far, at three nationwide auditions in Lagos, Ibadan and Enugu, they have screened 400 athletes and pre-selected 50 of them for the Boot-camp which will be coming up later in the year.

Upcoming athletes were inspired at the mere sight of these Top Sprinter coaches training with them, and MoC has since been inundated with requests by athletes who want the next auditions brought to their regions.

Obikwelu may not be running for Nigeria, but he is already playing a vital role in the revival of athletics in Nigeria with his involvement in the Top Sprinter talent search!

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Can USA break Jamaica’s dominance in the Sprints? http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/19/can-usa-break-jamaicas-dominance-in-the-sprints/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/19/can-usa-break-jamaicas-dominance-in-the-sprints/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 16:34:49 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4878 The 2015 World Championships in Beijing is still three months away, but the battle line has been drawn between Jamaica and the USA, as both teams get set to go all out in asserting their superiority in the sprints,  following a spectacular display by the US men’s 4x100m relay team at the IAAF World Relays

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The 2015 World Championships in Beijing is still three months away, but the battle line has been drawn between Jamaica and the USA, as both teams get set to go all out in asserting their superiority in the sprints,  following a spectacular display by the US men’s 4x100m relay team at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas earlier this month.

The quartet of Michael Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey stunned the Jamaican team anchored by Usain Bolt, winning GOLD with a World Lead (WL) of 37.38s as against Jamaica’s 37.68s, despite Bolt’s scorching split of 8.65s!

Since taking the world of athletics by storm at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when the Jamaican team, led by Bolt, put paid to USA’s domination in the sprints, the Caribbean country has remained a thorn in the flesh of the Americans who are now battling to reclaim their ‘exclusive’ title of being the world’s best in the short distance races and the relays.

And despite the recent defeat to Team USA in Nassau, Bolt is convinced that he only needs more races to attain full fitness, and revealed that he looks forward to payback time for the Americans in Beijing in the video below:

On the flip side, Team USA believes that the victory over Jamaica signals the dawn of a new era, and so anchor-man, Bailey, celebrated the feat by imitating Bolt’s signature gesture, but then turned it into a throat slash, signifying the end of Jamaican domination in the sprints and relays. However the demonstration drew the ire of Jamaican fans who felt that it was disrespectful to their hero.

But then the mystery shrouding Bolt was somewhat demystified after an injury-plagued 2014, which saw the greatest sprinter of all time pull out of some key races, running the 100m only twice. That wasn’t enough to stop him from anchoring the Jamaican team to a Championship Record (CR) of 37.58s at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland though.

Nevertheless, it revealed a vulnerable side to him, which also indicated that he was human after all, and perhaps beatable. The Americans were quick to assert that their good luck in the Bahamas and the Penn Relays was no fluke, and that the win is only a reflection of a new order which sees the USA reclaim its ‘rightful’ position as the No.1 Sprint nation in the world. Click on the video below and watch Bailey tell reporters “We just established our dominance as a sprint country as we were in the past”.

The tension between both countries is already palpable, and it remains to be seen how the clash goes down in Beijing. Bolt’s comments in the media saying that Gay should have been banned for life, also added fuel to an already intense situation. Members of both relay teams could barely stand each other in the post-race press conference; one could literally slice through the tense atmosphere with a knife.

Gay went on to express his disappointment at Bolt’s position, though he conceded that the Jamaican was entitled to his opinion. And though the TRIPLE world record holder later admitted that he enjoys the rivalry that has been brewing between both countries over several decades, he was reluctant to take pictures alongside the American team. Watch Bolt take a walk from the conference room before the conclusion of the photograph session (oops):

It doesn’t help that Gatlin is currently the world leader in the 100m and is considered a major threat to Bolt’s world title defence. He ended the 2014 season as the fastest man in the 100m/200m and is on course to replicate the same feat in 2015 after blowing away the rest of the 100m field at the IAAF Diamond League in Doha last weekend, setting a WL of 9.74s, the fastest by a male athlete since 2012!

He also reclaimed the No.1 spot from Jamaica’s Asafa Powell who also looks like a contender for a medal in Beijing after becoming the first man to run a sub-10 this year (9.84s) at the Jamaican Invitational earlier this month. It’s going to be smoking hot in China no doubt!

(Photo Credit: Jean Catuffe, PacificCoactNews.com)

(Photo Credit: Jean Catuffe, PacificCoastNews.com)

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MoC #DiamondRaceContest: View Day 2 Results after Shanghai Diamond League http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/19/moc-diamondracecontest-view-day-2-results-after-shanghai-diamond-league/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/19/moc-diamondracecontest-view-day-2-results-after-shanghai-diamond-league/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 10:21:47 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4871 The Day 2 Results for our #DiamondRaceContest are OUT!!  Afi Etomi (Afi Etomi’s team) is our league leader with 271 points, with Bambo’s Top Sprinters team following closely in 2nd place with 265 points, and Yemi’s team is 3rd with 257 points! If you have not joined the League yet, see all the instructions you need to join here. The sooner the better, as the deadline to play

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The Day 2 Results for our #DiamondRaceContest are OUT!!  Afi Etomi (Afi Etomi’s team) is our league leader with 271 points, with Bambo’s Top Sprinters team following closely in 2nd place with 265 points, and Yemi’s team is 3rd with 257 points!

Diamond Race Contest by Making of Champs

Shanghai Diamond league leadersboard for MoC League

If you have not joined the League yet, see all the instructions you need to join here. The sooner the better, as the deadline to play for Day 3 for the Eugene Diamond League is May 30th!

Afi had strong picks all round earning him top position in the MoC league.

The overall leader across the whole world after Day 2 is Tobias Burkhardt’s Team on 361 points, with two Meet Records one of which was Captain Mutaz Essa Barshim, five other 1st place finishers, and three 2nd place finishers!

The first 3 in the MoC League this week are all MoC Staff – Afi who is one of our Project Managers, while Bambo is our CEO/Founder and Yemi who is one of our Senior Writers at MoC. Nearly all the 10 MoC Staff teams ranked highly in the 33 teams in the MoC League, but there were actually 10 players who scored zero points on Day 2, as they failed to pick any athletes for their teams before the deadline for Shanghai on Sunday!

AIRTIME WINNERS for #DiamondRaceContest DAY 1

There will be ₦3,000 Airtime available to the public each Diamond League Day, so who were the Top 3 finishers on Day 1 in the MoC League who are not MoC staff, and how will the Airtime be shared?

1st – Attah Innocent’s Team – 257 points
2nd – Tolu Adeyi‘s Team – 228 points
3rd – Khisso‘s Team – 214 points

The prizes for the Top 3 are ₦1500, ₦1000 & ₦500 Airtime respectively, to a phone number of your choice within Nigeria. To redeem your Airtime, please email makingofchampions1@gmail.com with your name, team name, phone number and network to send the Airtime, and also your facebook, twitter and instagram names so that we can tag you whenever we announce the results and you’ve won!

The start list for the next meet in Eugene, USA is not yet out. Just keep following Makingofchamps on Social media for updates.

For those who missed picking the 9 athletes on their team for Doha and Shanghai, another opportunity would soon present itself, so be on the alert! There are 14 Diamond League Days altogether, so there is still plenty of time to catch up and WIN the fantastic merchandise on offer to the public at the end of the Diamond League if you can claw your way back and finish among the Top 3 players by September!

Good luck all, as we cross our fingers for the next meet!

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Okagbare wins Women’s 100m at Shanghai Diamond League! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/17/okagbare-wins-womens-100m-at-shanghai-diamond-league/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/17/okagbare-wins-womens-100m-at-shanghai-diamond-league/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4858 Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor got her season underway with a dominating win at the 2015 Shanghai Diamond League meet on Sunday, winning the women’s 100m in 10.98s. Okagbare got ahead a star-studded line-up that included Olympic Champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, and coasted to victory. The Nigerian champion who started in lane 3 got a perfect start and was running

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Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor got her season underway with a dominating win at the 2015 Shanghai Diamond League meet on Sunday, winning the women’s 100m in 10.98s. Okagbare got ahead a star-studded line-up that included Olympic Champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, and coasted to victory.

The Nigerian champion who started in lane 3 got a perfect start and was running neck-to-neck with Fraser-Pryce who started in lane 4, but Okagbare eluded the Jamaican and steered clear of the chasing pack in the last 40m of the race, finishing nearly a tenth of a second ahead of 2nd placed Tori Bowie who clocked 11.07s. Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye finished 3rd in 11.13s. The Jamaican duo of Veronica Campbell-Brown and Fraser-Pryce could only manage 4th and 5th positions in 11.22s and 11.25s respectively.

Just a week after finishing second in 11.05s at the Jamaica Invitational, Okagbare has now improved on her season best, putting her in great contention for the season ahead. Last year, Okagbare was victorious at this circuit, winning a double in both the women’s Long Jump and 200m events, all with a meeting records. And with another win this year, it is now back to back wins, with Shanghai looking like a good hunting ground for the Nigerian.

Running a world lead in the women’s 400m hurldes event was Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer who took her race in a time of 54.71s. The Commonwealth champion had no difficulty executing her race, beating USA’s Tiffany Williams who came in 2nd with a time of 55.27s. Her compatriot Cassandra Tate came 3rd in 55.68s.

The talent of Kirani James has never been in doubt, and the Grenadian showed why he is currently the best over the quarter-mile event, winning the men’s 400m that had top athletes in the starting line-up. James effortlessly took the race, bursting out of the blocks in an explosive pace and going past America’s LaShawn Merritt whom he defeated earlier this year at the Drake Relays, powering to victory in 44.66s. America’s duo of Tony McQuay and Merritt came in 2nd and 3rd with a time of 45.54 and 45.58s respectively. Bostwana’s African champion, Isaac Makwala finished in sixth position with a time of 46.28s.

Panama’s Alonso Edward gathered momentum in the last 80m to win the men’s 200m in 20.33s. Interestingly, Jamaica’s Nickle Ashmeade led right after the curve, but he faded as even his compatriot Julian Forte overtook him in 2nd position at 20.36s, while he settled for 3rd in 20.44s.

The stand-out performance of the night came in the women’s 5000m where Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana produced a world leading time of 14.14.33s. Her victory takes her to the third-fastest time in history and also the Diamond League record and Asian all-comers’ record.

In the men’s 1500m, it was a Kenyan dominated top three finish with Isaac Kiplagat taking the race in 3.35.39s. His compatriots Hillary Cheruiyot and Collins Cheboi finished 2nd and 3rd in 3.35.40 and 3.35.46s respectively.

In the Field event, Colombia’s Catherine Ibarguen stormed into the lead and led all through her five attempts in the women’s Triple Jump event, recording a 14.71m leap in her first attempt. Meanwhile in the women’s Shot Put event, there was something to cheer for the home crowd who came out to see their athlete Gong Lijiao dominate the throws. The Chinese athlete set two World Leads en-route winning her event. If we thought that her first 19.82m throw was awesome, Lijiao raise the stakes with a 20.23m throw in her second attempt.

In the men’s High Jump, Mutaz Essa Barshim and Bohdan Bondarenko rekindled their rivalry, but it was the Qatari who came out tops. Barshim triumphed with his 2.38m jump to take victory from Bondarenko who put him under immense pressure. The Ukrainian’s 2.32m achievement left him in second, despite attempting 2.41m so as to raise the bar for Barshim, but he failed and his rival took the win.

Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov won the men’s Long Jump event with 8.27m(+0.4) while Jeff Henderson came in 2nd with 8.26m. The surprise package was 19-year old Chinese, Wang Jiana who placed 3rd, breaking the Asian junior record with 8.25m.

The first two meets have been exciting, and the Diamond League returns on May 30, in Eugene, USA.

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Okagbare wins Women’s 100m at the Shanghai Diamond League! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/17/okagbare-wins-womens-100m-at-the-shanghai-diamond-league/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/17/okagbare-wins-womens-100m-at-the-shanghai-diamond-league/#comments Sun, 17 May 2015 11:36:51 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4850 Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor got her season underway with a fascinating win at the 2015 Shanghai Diamond League meet on Sunday, winning the women’s 100m in 10.98s. Okagbare defeated a star-studded line-up that had Olympic Champion, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, and coasted to victory.       The Nigerian champion who started in lane 3 got a

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Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor got her season underway with a fascinating win at the 2015 Shanghai Diamond League meet on Sunday, winning the women’s 100m in 10.98s. Okagbare defeated a star-studded line-up that had Olympic Champion, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, and coasted to victory.

 

 

 

The Nigerian champion who started in lane 3 got a perfect start and was running neck-to-neck with Fraser-Pryce who started in lane 4, but Okagbare eluded the Jamaican and steered clear of the chasing pack in the last 40m of the race, finishing nearly a tenth of a second ahead of 2nd placed Tori Bowie who clocked 11.07s. Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye finished 3rd in 11.13s. The Jamaican duo of Veronica Campbell-Brown and Fraser-Pryce could only manage 4th and 5th positions in 11.22s and 11.25s respectively.

Just a week after finishing second in 11.05s at the Jamaica Invitational, Okagbare has now improved on her season best, putting her in great contention for the season ahead. Last year, Okagbare was victorious at this circuit, winning a double in both the women’s Long Jump and 200m events, all with a meeting records. And with another win this year, it is now back to back wins, with Shanghai looking like a good hunting ground for the Nigerian.

Running a world lead in the women’s 400m hurldes event was Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer who took her race in a time of 54.71s. The Commonwealth champion had no difficulty executing her race, beating USA’s Tiffany Williams who came in 2nd with a time of 55.27s. Her compatriot Cassandra Tate came 3rd in 55.68s.

The talent of Kirani James has never been in doubt, and the Grenadian showed why he is currently the best over the quarter-mile event, winning the men’s 400m that had top athletes in the starting line-up. James effortlessly took the race, bursting out of the blocks in an explosive pace and going past America’s LaShawn Merritt whom he defeated earlier this year at the Drake Relays, powering to victory in 44.66s. America’s duo of Tony McQuay and Merritt came in 2nd and 3rd with a time of 45.54 and 45.58s respectively. Bostwana’s African champion, Isaac Makwala finished in sixth position with a time of 46.28s.

Panama’s Alonso Edward gathered momentum in the last 80m to win the men’s 200m in 20.33s. Interestingly, Jamaica’s Nickle Ashmeade led right after the curve, but he faded as even his compatriot Julian Forte overtook him in 2nd position at 20.36s, while he settled for 3rd in 20.44s.

The stand-out performance of the night came in the women’s 5000m where Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana produced a world leading time of 14.14.33s. Her victory takes her to the third-fastest time in history and also the Diamond League record and Asian all-comers’ record.

In the men’s 1500m, it was a Kenyan dominated top three finish with Isaac Kiplagat taking the race in 3.35.39s. His compatriots Hillary Cheruiyot and Collins Cheboi finished 2nd and 3rd in 3.35.40 and 3.35.46s respectively.

In the Field event, Colombia’s Catherine Ibarguen stormed into the lead and led all through her five attempts in the women’s Triple Jump event, recording a 14.71m leap in her first attempt. Meanwhile in the women’s Shot Put event, there was something to cheer for the home crowd who came out to see their athlete Gong Lijiao dominate the throws. The Chinese athlete set two World Leads en-route winning her event. If we thought that her first 19.82m throw was awesome, Lijiao raise the stakes with a 20.23m throw in her second attempt.

In the men’s High Jump, Mutaz Essa Barshim and Bohdan Bondarenko rekindled their rivalry, but it was the Qatari who came out tops. Barshim triumphed with his 2.38m jump to take victory from Bondarenko who put him under immense pressure. The Ukrainian’s 2.32m achievement left him in second, despite attempting 2.41m so as to raise the bar for Barshim, but he failed and his rival took the win.

Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov won the men’s Long Jump event with 8.27m(+0.4) while Jeff Henderson came in 2nd with 8.26m. The surprise package was 19-year old Chinese, Wang Jiana who placed 3rd, breaking the Asian junior record with 8.25m.

The first two meets have been exciting, and the Diamond League returns on May 30, in Eugene, USA.

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MoC #DiamondRaceContest: View Day 1 Results & Play Day 2 by Sunday 9am! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/16/moc-diamondracecontest-view-day-1-results-play-day-2-by-sunday-9am/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/16/moc-diamondracecontest-view-day-1-results-play-day-2-by-sunday-9am/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 09:40:17 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4835 You didn’t have to wait long – the Day 1 Results for our #DiamondRaceContest are OUT!!  Funmi (ffameso’s team) is our league leader with 142 points, with Ayo’s Fast & Furious team following closely in 2nd place with 141 points, and Afi’s team is 3rd with 136 points! If you have not joined the League yet, see all the instructions you need to join here. The sooner the better, as

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You didn’t have to wait long – the Day 1 Results for our #DiamondRaceContest are OUT!!  Funmi (ffameso’s team) is our league leader with 142 points, with Ayo’s Fast & Furious team following closely in 2nd place with 141 points, and Afi’s team is 3rd with 136 points!

If you have not joined the League yet, see all the instructions you need to join here. The sooner the better, as the deadline to play for Day 2 for the Shanghai Diamond League is Sunday May 17th by 9am Naija time!

Diamond Race Contest Day 1 Standings after Doha Diamond League

Diamond Race Contest Day 1 Standings after Doha Diamond League

Funmi is leading because she picked TWO athletes who set Meet Records (Jackson & Pichardo), one of whom was her team captain. She also picked one other winner, two 2nd place and two 3rd place finishers – good points across most of her 9 athletes.

Ayo came out of the blocks  fast & furious as he actually picked THREE athletes who got Meet Records (Pichardo as captain, Gatlin & Felix), but eventually ran out of steam, as the rest of his picks apart from 2nd placed Mo Farah fell way short.

Afi had strong picks all round – two Meet Records, two other winners and three 2nd place athletes, but is only 3rd in our league as his Team Captain Richards-Ross only managed 2nd in the 400m.

The overall leader across the whole world after Day 1 is www.tandfunlimited.com on 195 points, with three Meet Records one of which was Captain Gatlin, three other 1st place finishers, and three 2nd place finishers!

The first 3 in the MoC League this week are all MoC Staff – Funmi is our Junior Sports Writer, while Ayo is our Webmaster and Afi is one of our Project Managers at MoC. Nearly all the 10 MoC Staff teams ranked highly in the 31 teams in the MoC League, but there were actually 12 players who scored zero points on Day 1, as they failed to pick any athletes for their teams before the deadline for Doha on Friday!

AIRTIME WINNERS for #DiamondRaceContest DAY 1

There will be ₦3,000 Airtime available to the public each Diamond League Day, so who were the Top 3 finishers on Day 1 in the MoC League who are not MoC staff, and how will the Airtime be shared?

1st – Attah Innocent’s Team – 125 points (2 Meet Records – Captain Gatlin & Pichardo, one other winner and one 2nd place)
2nd – Michael Dick’s Team – 124 points (2 Meet Records, two other winners, two 2nd place athletes, but Captain Pearson who finished 4th let him down!)
3rd – Philip Nwagunor’s Team – 123 points (2 Meet Records – Captain Gatlin & Felix, one 2nd place, one 3rd place and a patriotic choice in 6th placed Tosin Oke in the Triple Jump!)
 

The prizes for the Top 3 are ₦1500, ₦1000 & ₦500 Airtime respectively, to a phone number of your choice within Nigeria. To redeem your Airtime, please email makingofchampions1@gmail.com with your name, team name, phone number and network to send the Airtime, and also your facebook, twitter and instagram names so that we can tag you whenever we announce the results and you’ve won!

Right! Now it’s time to play for Shanghai, and Blessing Okagbare is on the start-list of the 100m tomorrow! How many in this league will make the patriotic choice and even make her their Team Captain? You need to make your team transfers before 9am tomorrow for Shanghai – don’t miss out on doing this, else you will fall behind in the league!  

For those who missed picking the 9 athletes on their team for Doha, now is the time to do it for Shanghai! There are 14 Diamond League Days altogether, so there is still plenty of time to catch up and WIN the fantastic merchandise on offer to the public at the end of the Diamond League if you can claw your way back and finish among the Top 3 players by September!

Good luck all, and may the best players win!

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Gatlin & Felix run world’s fastest times since 2012 at Doha Diamond League! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/15/gatlin-felix-run-worlds-fastest-times-since-2012-at-doha-diamond-league/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/15/gatlin-felix-run-worlds-fastest-times-since-2012-at-doha-diamond-league/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 20:26:27 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4821 Records tumbled at the IAAF Doha Diamond League in Qatar like a pack of cards as no fewer than 10 World Leads (WL) were set, following record breaking feats in several events in the first leg of the series, which had 12 reigning Olympic Champions and 10 World Champions in attendance. The world’s fastest man

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Records tumbled at the IAAF Doha Diamond League in Qatar like a pack of cards as no fewer than 10 World Leads (WL) were set, following record breaking feats in several events in the first leg of the series, which had 12 reigning Olympic Champions and 10 World Champions in attendance.

The world’s fastest man in 2014 and Diamond Trophy winner, Justin Gatlin ran the race of his life, setting a Personal Best (PB), WL and Meeting Record (MR) of 9.74s, eclipsing Olusoji Fasuba’s nine-year old MR of 9.85s, making it the fastest time run by any athlete since 2012. Only Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake ran faster that year, clocking 9.63s and 9.69s respectively.

Gatlin’s compatriot, Michael Rodgers and Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman followed in 2nd and 3rd respectively, clocking 9.96s and 10.01s. Kim Collins and Femi Ogunode followed with SBs of 10.03s and 10.04s.

London 2012 200m women’s champion, Allyson Felix was in brilliant form as she posted a scorching WL and MR of 21.98s, equalling the Diamond League Record (DLR) set by Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2010. This makes it the first sub-22s run since the London 2012 Games where the American clocked 21.88s to win GOLD.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahoure who had a great start before losing her lead, followed in 2nd with an SB of 22.29s, while Antonique Strachan of the Bahamas placed 3rd with an SB of 22.69s.

Another outstanding athlete was 23-year old Jasmin Stowers who towered above an elite field in the women’s 100m hurdles, setting another WL, DLR and MR of 12.35s. The hitherto unknown hurdler had never been to an international competition, save the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships, where she placed 4th. However, she has set herself up as a likely contender for a medal at the World Championships in Beijing in August.

Sharika Nelvis clocked a Personal Best (PB) of 12.54s while European Champion, Tiffany Porter followeds in 3rd in 12.65s. Olympic Champion, Sally Pearson finished 4th while 2014 Diamond Trophy winner, Dawn Harper-Nelson almost tripped over a hurdle and had to settle for a distant 8th position.

Bershawn Jackson coasted to victory in the men’s 400m Hurdles with a WL and MR of 48.09s as Olympic Bronze medallist, Javier Culson followed with an SB of 48.96s, while Thomas Barr finished 3rd in 48.99s (SB). South Africa’s Lj van Zyl placed 6th with a time of 49.52s.

It was a USA 1-2 in the women’s 400m race as the world’s fastest woman in 2014, Francena McCorory upstaged Olympic Champion and world leader, Sanya Richards-Ross with a time of 50.21, while the later posted 50.79, with Commonwealth Champion, Stephenie McPherson coming 3rd.

Making her debut at the Diamond League was Zambia’s Kabange Mupopo who would have enjoyed a better placing than 7th position in an SB of 51.88s. However the Zambian slowed down considerably as she approached the finishing line.

In other events, Britain’s Mo Farah was beaten to the 3000m title by Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet who clocked a WL of 7:38.08s while Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman stole the limelight from 800m world champion, Mohammed Aman and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, to win the 800m event with a WL of 1:43.78s.

Pichardo & Taylor jump over 18m in the Triple Jump!

One of the highlights of the meeting was the historic leap made by Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo in the men’s Triple Jump event, setting a staggering PB, NR, MR and DLR of 18.06m, making him the third greatest jumper EVER, behind World Record holder, Jonathan Edwards (18.29m) and Kenny Harrison (18.09m).

His performance inspired a PB from Olympic Champion, Christian Taylor who jumped 18.04m to become only the 5th man in history over 18m. This is the first time two men have gone wind legal over 18m in same meet, putting up a brilliant show for Doha’s crowd to witness one of the most inspiring pages of Triple Jump history!

World champion, Teddy Tamgho finished had an SB of 17.24m and eventually pulled out of a jump with an injury but his distance was good enough for 3rd place, while Nigeria’s Tosin Oke settled for 6th position with a distance 16.83m.

Sprinter cum long jumper, Tianna Bartoletta made a world leading leap of 6.99m, and was followed by Great Britain’s Shara Proctor who jumped an NR of 6.95m. Canada’s Christabel Netty placed 3rd wth 6.93m. World Champion, Sandra Perkovic won her event as usual while Germany’s Nadine Muller placed 2nd with 65.13m in the women’s Discus throw.

The Finnish duo of Tero Pitkamaki and Antti Ruuskanen dominated the men’s Javelin Throw with a WL of 88.62m and 86.61m respectively, while world champion Vitezslav Vesely came 3rd in, 83.67m, with Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman finishing 4th with an SB of 83.14m.

Felix & Gatlin

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Okagbare and other World Stars head to Shanghai for the 2nd Diamond League Meet! http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/15/okagbare-and-other-world-stars-head-to-shanghai-for-the-2nd-diamond-league-meet/ http://www.makingofchamps.com/2015/05/15/okagbare-and-other-world-stars-head-to-shanghai-for-the-2nd-diamond-league-meet/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 10:07:24 +0000 http://www.makingofchamps.com/?p=4813 Sprint sensation Blessing Okagbare, would be hoping to set new records at the second leg of the Diamond League series in Shanghai, China on Sunday May 17.  Last year, she claimed two victories there in the Long Jump with a 6.86m leap and also won the 200m event in 22.36s, setting new meet records in

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Sprint sensation Blessing Okagbare, would be hoping to set new records at the second leg of the Diamond League series in Shanghai, China on Sunday May 17.  Last year, she claimed two victories there in the Long Jump with a 6.86m leap and also won the 200m event in 22.36s, setting new meet records in the process.

The Nigerian track queen has had a good start to the 2015 outdoor season, leading the women’s 4x200m team become world champions at the World Relays in Bahamas, and also playing a huge role in their 4x100m qualification for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio,Brazil.  Okagbare kick-started her individual season at the Jamaica Invitational, finishing 2nd (11.05s) behind Jamaica’s World Lead Elaine Thompson (10.97s), but ahead of 200m Olympic Champion Allyson Felix, who finished 3rd.

In Shanghai, she would be competing in her second 100m race of the season, coming up against double Olympic Champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and her Jamaican counterpart Veronica Campbell-Brown.  Campbell- Brown won the Diamond Race last season and already has a Season Best (SB) of 11.04s. USA’s Tori Bowie who was the Breakout Athlete last year, alongside Trinidad & Trinidad’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, who has done sub 11s this year (10.97s), would also give Okagbare a stiff contest.

Other mouth-watering races to watch out for include the men’s 400m, as some of the best clash at the one-lap event. Olympic Champion/ World leader Kirani James would be aiming for maximum points just weeks after breaking Michael Johnson’s 19-year-old meet record at the Drake Relays. The Grenada-born athlete will come up against his great rival Lashawn Merritt in their first race together this year.  Bostwana’s African Record holder, Isaac Makwala and Belgium’s Kelvin Borlee would also be contenders.

In the men’s 200m, Kenya’s new sprints king Carvin Nkanata would seek to show that he is no fluke when he faces Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade who narrowly missed the 2014 Diamond Race by a point to World Championship silver medallist, Panama’s Alonso Edward. The race also features world number 4 Julain Forte and world bronze medallist, Curtis Mitchell, and former European Champion, Churandy Martina.  Nkanata is currently the world leader this year with a time of 20.14s and would become the first Kenyan sprinter to compete in 200m at the Diamond League.

Last season’s surprise winner in Doha, Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya, will be looking at replicating her 400m hurdles triumph last year in Doha, where she set a new PB and National Record (NR) of 54.59s for her newly adopted country. She would be up against Kaliese Spencer, who had a near perfect season last year, recording 12 wins out of 13 to win the Diamond League in addition to being the Commonwealth Champion.  2012 World Champion Lashida Demus and this year’s world number 3, Kori Carter would also be in strong contention.

The highlight for the field events would be in the High Jump, with Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Essa Barshim set to rekindle their rivalry. The duo thrilled fans last year battling for supremacy, with Barshim coming out tops with a 2.43m jump on the final day of the Diamond League meet in Brussels. Bondarenko is currently tied as the European record holder with his 2.42m PB and third on all-time list.

 

Fun Fact about the IAAF Diamond League :

Blessing Okagbare is the most prolific athlete of the Diamond League since its inception in 2010. She has notched up 38 appearances in the series and participated in nine Diamond League meetings in 2014, winning four of them.

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