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Diamond League: Okagbare, Fraser-Pryce In Final Showdown

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare is among the four fastest women in the world over 100m that have been confirmed to race in the IAAF Diamond League final bulled to hold in September in Zurich, Switzerland.

The others are World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser- Pryce of Jamaica, US champion English Gardner and double world silver medallist Murielle Ahoure of Cote d’Ivoire. Also in the field is last year’s Weltklasse winner, Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and Swiss record-holder Mujinga Kambundji.

Co-meeting director Andreas Hediger will leave some spots open until after the IAAF World Championships to ensure the best possible post-Beijing clashes. However, prior to the September 3 showdown in Zurich, Okagbare will storm the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London this weekend for the 10th meeting of the IAAF Diamond League meeting hoping to rewrite history.

It was at the same venue two years ago, precisely on July 27, 2013 that the double Commonwealth sprint champion rewrote the African 100m record. She broke the 10.84 seconds Nigeria and African record held since 1992 by compatriot, Chioma Ajunwa, with a stunning 10.79 seconds run thereby becoming the first African woman to run inside   10.80 seconds.

The Nigerian has ran 10.80 seconds this season and may be propelled into breaking her area record with the presence of such quality cast as Cote d’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure who picked a pair of sprints silver medals at the IAAF Worlds in Moscow two years ago; new British 100m record holder Dina Asher-Smith and double European champion Dafne Schippers.

Another Nigerian expected to race is the country’s former women’s 400m champion, Regina George, who has a chance to regain the Nigeria and African 400m 2015 lead from compatriot, Patience Okon George.

-Oladipo Okubanjo

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