After skipping last year’s National Championships, Blessing Okagbare made a winning return to reclaim the women’s 100m title, powering to a Season’s Best (SB) of 11.02s at the ongoing Nigerian Olympic Trials in Sapele, Delta State.

For Okagbare, it was a case of adding to her bulging national honours, as Thursday’s triumph made it the seventh time she is Nigeria’s champion in the women’s 100m.

Peace Uko placed 2nd in the race clocking 11.37s with Gloria Asumnu, last year’s champion finishing 3rd in 11.38s.

Okagbare didn’t push herself so much in the semis, coming through with a time of 11.22s, the fastest time of all three heats in the semifinals, and her excitement showed as she crossed the line raising her right fist in celebration.

It has always been a one horse race for Okagbare during Nigerian trials, having won the 100m title six times consecutively from 2009-2014, coming back to add a seventh in 2016.

She is yet to go under 11s this season, losing her African Record of 10.79s to Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure who set a new record of 10.78s last month.

With the Rio 2016 Olympics coming up in August, Okagbare will once again be shouldering Nigeria’s hopes going to the Games as many will expect her to at least make the final of the women’s 100m.

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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