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.