National Sports Festival double champion Grace Nwokocha ran a new lifetime’s best of 11.00s to finish third in the women’s 100m heats at Tokyo 2020 Olympics, securing automatic qualification to the semifinals on Saturday.

Drawn in the same heat as double Olympic Champion and Jamaican Sprint star, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Nwokocha wasn’t the quickest off the blocks, but once she got into her drive phase, she did just enough to secure the third spot behind Fraser-Pryce and Swiss sprinter Ajla Del Ponte.

Nwokocha, who is making her Olympic debut, has now been drawn in lane 9 in Heat 3 of the semis which will take place by 11:31 am on Saturday.

In another heat, Nigeria’s other entry in the blue ribbon event, Blessing Okagbare dominated Heat 6, taking her foot off the gas with about 10m left in the race, to clock 11.05s for the win. Great Britain’s Asha Philip was 2nd and Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither following through for third.

The 2014 double commonwealth GOLD medallist will take to the track in the first heat of the semis where she faces Britain’s Dina Asha-Smith and defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Deji is one of the leading Athletics journalists in Nigeria as he possesses a deep passion for PR and branding athletes. He has extensively covered a wide range of sporting competitions, both within and outside Nigeria, with a particular focus on showcasing African Sports Stories. In addition to his journalistic prowess, he is well-versed in Sports Management and Marketing.


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