Okagbare still Nigeria's fastest woman


Adebobola Alawode, Calabar

Nigeria’s fastest woman, Blessing Okagbare Tuesday evening retained her title in the women’s 100m final of the ongoing Olympic Trials in Calabar.

The America-based Okagbare, who finished the tight race at the U.J. Esuene Stadium in 11:12secs, narrowly beat
Gloria Asummu with just a second.

Asummu, also a Nigerian athlete based in the US, finished the race in a time of 11:13secs, while the third position went to Gloria Ozoh, who got to the finish line in a time of 11:19secs. The women’s 100m final of the 66th All Nigeria/Cross River State Athletics Championship was the talk of the town all day, as former champion, Damola Osayomi finished fourth in a distant time of 13:18 secs.

Shortly after the race, Okagbare, who was gasping for breath said she was not pleased with her timing.

“No no no, I’m not impressed. My poor timing was due to the bad weather in Calabar. My target was to do better than 11:12secs but the weather contributed to my poor performance.

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“You know, coming down to race in Calabar with the wet tracks was frustrating. But it’s okay, I will work hard to do better next time. Though I’m happy to have retained my title,” she said.

On her target at the London Olympic Games, the fastest Nigerian lady said she does not want to set any target for herself right now.

“I just want to concentrate on my training and allow God to take control of the future,” she concluded.

Asummu, however regretted her second position, saying her target was to dethrone Okagbare.

“Well, it was an interesting race, a photo-finish 100m final. But beating Okagbare would have been fulfilling. All the same, I will try to do my best for the country in the future and at the Olympics, Asummu said in Calabar.

The men’s final is expected to be another crowd puller tomorrow, while the heats of more events including the 200m hold early in the morning.

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