Nigeria’s queen of the track, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor came from behind to finish fourth in the 100m event (11.03 seconds) at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat Sunday evening.
The race was won by Jamaica’s reigning Olympics champion, Elaine Thompson who set a new 10.87 seconds meeting record with Ivorian girl,Marie-Jose Ta Lou second in 10.90 seconds while Trinidad and Tobago’s Ahye Michelle-Lee finished third in 11.02 seconds.
Okagbare-Ighoteguonor who holds the Nigerian record in the event (10.79 seconds) failed to build on her impressive 10.99 seconds run in London last week but, however moved up to fourth in the qualification standings for the Diamond League final with 17 points after conclusion of five of six 100m qualification meetings.
The sixth qualification race will be held in 33 days’ time in Birmingham, England. Expectedly, Thompson tops the qualification standing with 32 points from four 100m wins,Ta Lou is second with 27 points while Ahye is third with 21 points.
The nearest challengers to the Nigerian are flying Dutch lady, Dafne Schippers (15 points), Nigeria-born American,Morolake Akinosun (nine points),Cote D’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure (nine points) and Jamaica’s Christaiana Williams (eight points).
It was the Okagbare-Ighoteguonor’s third 100m race in the series and the first time she would finish outside the top three after third-place finishes in Paris (11.09 seconds) and London (10.99 seconds).
For her fourth-placed effort she got $3000 and looks a cast-iron certainty to be among the 148 athletes that will be competing at the Memmorial Van Damme IAAF Diamond League meeting final in Brussels,Belgium on Friday September 1,2017.
Packaged by Lanre Olabisi