Blessing Okagbare on Sunday ran 10.99 seconds, her first sub-11 seconds performance of the season, to place third behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson (10.94) and Holland’s Dafne Schpippers (10.97) at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London.
Okagbare thus made a statement ahead of next month’s 16th IAAF World Championships also in London. It was the Nigerian’s first sub-11 seconds performance in the 100m in over 21 months and 17th of her career.
The last time she ran a sub-11 seconds in the 100m was way back in September 2015 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich where she closed her season at 10.98 seconds.
Interestingly, the Nigerian ran an incredible six sub-11 seconds in the 100m that season, topping it with the 10.80 seconds at the IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Stade De France in Paris on July 4, 2015.
It was her and Nigeria’s second fastest 100m time ever. It was also the third fastest time in the world that year.
Okagbare broke 11 seconds for the first time in 2012 when she ran 10.96 seconds to place second in the first semi-final at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London on July 14. She ran three more sub-11 seconds to close the season with a 10.92 personal best on August 4, 2012 at the London Olympic Games.
She ran three more the following year with an incredible 10.79 seconds performance to become the first Nigerian nay African woman to break 10.80 seconds in the 100m.It was then a new African record which proved to be the second fastest in the world that year behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pyrce’s IAAF World-title winning 10.71 seconds performance in Moscow.