Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare failed to get the better of her rival and world champion, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, but recorded her best time over 100m this season, which is also her second career fastest over the distance.
Fraser-Pryce stopped the clock in 10.74 seconds – the fastest time in the world this year – as she led from the sound of the gun to the very end, winning ahead of Okagbare, 10.80, and American English Gardner, 10.97 in the women’s 100 metres at the Paris Diamond League on Saturday.
The 10.80 ran by Okagbare was only a hundrendth of a second within her African record. Her African record and personal best is the 10.79 seconds she set in London in 2013 and Saturday’s time is now her second fastest ever.
Incidentally, Fraser-Pryce also beat Okagbare in Paris two years ago, although the race was even closer than this one. Fraser-Pryse won that 2013 race in 10.92 seconds, while Okagbare did 10.93 seconds. Two-time World Championships gold medalist in the 100m, Fraser- Pryce, now leads the Diamond Race by eight points, two points ahead of Okagbare and Cote d’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure in second and third place respectively.
However, despite the positives, Fraser-Pryce isn’t getting too excited, knowing all too well that races and wins like these mean precious little when the big dance starts next month. “Races are just races.
The ultimate is the (World) championships because you can do really well on the circuit and then so many things can happen at the championships because people always show up. “So you take nothing for granted. You just continue to work hard and keep your eyes on the ultimate goal,” said Fraser-Pryce, who confirmed on Friday that she was skipping her 200m title defence to focus on the 100m at the Worlds.