18th May, 2012
Reigning national 100m champion, Blessing Okagbare will be the only Nigerian athlete that will compete on Saturday in Shanghai, China, where the second leg of the 14-meeting series IAAF Diamond League will hold.
The Beijing Olympic long jump medallist will be competing in the 200m event and will attempt to run faster than the 22.70 seconds new personal best she set last month at the Mount San Anthonio meeting in Walnut, California, USA.
Her aim will be to upstage world champion, Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown who holds a 22.22 seconds personal season’s best.
Okagbare was also the only Nigerian in attendance at the opening leg of the money-spinning meeting in Doha, Qatar last weekend, where she ran an impressive 11.01 seconds to place fourth in what was her first 100m race of the year.
The University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) graduate is seen by local watchers of track and field in Nigeria as the country’s brightest hopes for an individual medal at the 30th Olympic Games later this summer in London.
Just on Wednesday, she came second in Daegu, where she became the third Nigerian nay African sprinter to run in the 100m final of the IAAF World Championships.
She finished second in the 100m race (11.21 seconds) behind the woman who won the last time out at the 2011 IAAF Worlds, Carmeliter Jeter of USA (11.11 seconds).
The other Nigerian star who competed at the meeting,Gloria Asumnu placed fifth in the 200m in an unimpressive 23.79 seconds.