Nigeria’s hope at earning a gold medal at the World athletics Championship with Blessing Okagbare ended yesterday in disaster as her competitors left the commonwealth champion in the last position in the women’s 100m race. Nigeria has never won a gold medal medal at the championship since its started in 1983, but Okagbare was the hope to erase the unpleasant memories, which never materialised.
She now has to concentrate on long jump and relays to redeem something for the nation. Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser- Pryce won the women’s 100m final in a time of 10.76sec to claim gold at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Fraser-Pryce, who was the heavily- tipped favourite and who won the 2009 and 2013 world 100m titles, matched her compatriot Usain Bolt’s feat by winning a third world 100m gold.
The reigning Olympic 100m champion, competing with her dyed green braided hair replete with a garland of yellow flowers, was pushed hard by the European champion, Dafne Schippers, who finished strongly to record a Dutch national record time of 10.81. “I get tired of 10.7s, honestly,” Fraser- Pryce said. “Hopefully, my next race, I’ll get it together.” Earlier, Fraser-Pryce had coasted into the final in a time of 10.82, ensuring she had energy in reserve for the main event. Schippers, a former heptathlete, had vowed to go faster after finishing just a hundredth of a second behind Fraser-Pryce in the semi-finals. She was true to her word but was just not quick enough after a slower start.
“So happy! It’s a national record, I’m second in the world, it’s crazy,” said Schippers. “I was a little bit nervous in the semi-finals, and after that I think, OK, I’m in the final, anything is possible. My start was good, I thought I was close enough to medal. Wow!” Tori Bowie of the USA won bronze with a time of 10.86. “Of course, we all want the gold medal, but it’s a stepping stone,” said the 24-year-old. “I’ll come back even better next year.”