Nigerian Record holder in the women’s 100m, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor was the woman to beat in the 100m at the IAAF World Challenge in Zagreb, Croatia, on Tuesday, August 29th.

The Moscow 2013 double medallist dominated the field by crossing the line in 11.14s, finishing ahead of Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (11.23s) and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye who returned a time of 11.26s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyd285hFZZA

This will be a morale-booster for the Commonwealth Games record holder who will be ending her season at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday, September 1st.

The Nigerian will face a stacked field comprising of Olympic double champion Elaine Thompson, London 2017 double Silver medallist Marie Josee Ta Lou, Morolake Akinosun and Ahye amongst others.

Meanwhile, the men’s 100m race was won by former World Champion Yohan Blake (10.05s) who outclassed Michael Rodgers (10.14s) and Asafa Powell (10.16s). Great Britain’s Adam Gemili was 4th in 10.21s.

Gil Roberts got one over Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, racing to a Meeting Record (MR) of 44.94s, while the 2017 Diamond Race winner placed 2nd with 45.29s. Vernon Wood finished 3rd in 45.47s.

London 2017 Bronze medallist in the women’s 800m, Ajee Wilson stormed to victory in Zagreb in 1:59.13, with Kenya’s Winny Jebet following in a Season’s Best of 1:59.54, and Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain placing 3rd in 1:59.76.

Two days after clocking a Personal Best (PB) of 12.54s to win the 100m Hurdles in Berlin, Christina Manning continued her impressive run, winning the event in Croatia in 12.66s as compatriots Dawn Harper-Nelson and Kristi Castlin followed in 12.84s and 12.86s respectively.

Beijing 2015 110 Hurdles World Champion Sergey Shubenkov was the first to cross the finishing line in the event where he posted 13.12s, while USA’s Devon Allen clocked 13.19s in 2nd. Balazs Baji was 3rd in 13.46s.

Qatar’s Abderrahaman Samba clocked a time of 48.70s to win the 400m Hurdles ahead of 2017 World Leader and Diamond Trophy winner Kyron McMaster (49.49s) and South Africa’s LJ Van Zyl (49.69s).

Kenya’s Norah Jeruto who stormed to a PB of 9:03.70 in Berlin two days ago, was in superb form. The 22-year smashed the MR in Zagreb and inspired a Top 4 finish for her country, taking the win in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase in a time of 9:04.56, with Daisy Jepkemei and Joan Chepkemoi clocking PBs of 9:19.68 and 9:20.22 respectively.

Two-time Olympic Champion and reigning World Champion Sandra Perkovic made the most of the home support. As such, it wasn’t far-fetched that she set an MR of 70.83m to finish way ahead of the field in the women’s Discus. USA’s Whitney Ashley was 2nd with her throw of 62.91m, as Nadine Muller settled for 3rd with 62.58m.

Reigning World Champion in the men’s Shot put Tomas Walsh once again dominated the event, securing his best throw of 21.50m at his third attempt. Australian Damien Birkinhead and Michal Haratyk threw marks of 21.35m (PB) and 21.34m respectively.

Elisabeth Gleadle denied Olympic Champion Sara Kolak a much-needed win on her home soil and went on to win the women’s Javelin with 63.40m, while the 22-year old settled for 2nd with her throw of 61.68m.

Kamila Licwinko won the women’s High Jump with her clearance of 1.96m, with Irina Gordeyeva following with a mark of 1.88m. Sweden’s Erika Kinsey was 3rd with the same mark.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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