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Okagbare Goes For Double Diamonds In Eugene

Oladipo Okubanjo

Two weeks after beating the world’s best at the IAAF Diamond League event in Shanghai, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will seek to prove her victory was not a fluke when she lines up against some of the fastest women ever to run the 100m at this weekend’s Prefontaine Diamond League Classics in Eugene, Oregon.

At the Shanghai Diamond League meet, the Commonwealth champion turned back a strong field, including Olympic and World champion Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, to win in a season best 10.98 seconds. Okagbare’s biggest challenge in Eugene could come from Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who is the world leader in the women’s 100m and surprise package in women’s sprinting so far this season.

After going down to Thompson at the Jamaica International Invitation (JII) meet, Okagbare will be hoping for revenge against the Jamaican who won at the NCB Intercollegiate Championships with her first sub-11 seconds, stopping the clock at 10.97 seconds and improved her personal best to 10.92 seconds at the JII.

Aside Okagbare, Fraser-Pryce and Thompson, other sprinters in the crack field are Murielle Ahoure of Cote d’Ivoire, Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle Lee Ahye, along with the United States trio of Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Bartoletta and Tori Bowie. Bowie was the fastest female a year ago, after clocking 10.80 seconds in Monaco.

The American placed second behind Okagbare in Shanghai. Former World champion Jeter is yet to show her form of previous years, while Bartoletta, along with Ahoure and Lee Ahye, should make this a humdinger. If conditions are right, we could witness the entire field going under 11 seconds.

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