Okagbare Takes on Thompson, Ahoure in Paris Diamond League


*Chases first sub-11 seconds 100m run in two years

Reigning Nigeria speed queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, will be hoping to legally race inside 11 seconds in the 100m event for the first time in two years at the Meeting De Paris, the seventh leg of the money-spinning IAAF Diamond League meetings on Saturday at the Parc de Prince Stadium in Paris.

The Nigerian, dethroned as African 100m champion without putting up a fight last year in Durban, South Africa has been struggling for form since she finished last in the 100m (11.02 seconds) in the final of the IAAF World Championships on August 24, 2015 in Beijing, China.

Last year she failed to legally run a sub-11 seconds in the blue ribband event as her 10.92 seconds finish on July 18 in at the Sóstói Stadion in Székesfehérvár, Hungary was aided by a +2.6 metres per second trail wind.
The last time she ducked inside 11 seconds was on September 3 last year at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich where she ran 10.98 seconds.

This year the Nigerian holds an 11.16 seconds personal season best and will be hoping to better this mark by breaking 11 seconds on Saturday in Paris, a ground she will fondly remember for some spectacular performances.

It was at the Meeting De Paris that she ran her 10.80 seconds, her second fastest 100m time ever. She was second in the race behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.74 seconds) just two years ago.

In 2013 she also came second behind Fraser-Pryce at the same meeting, losing by the narrowest of margins (10.92 to 10.93 seconds) while a year later she ran her second fastest time over 200m (22.32) at the meeting.

On Saturday, the Moscow 2013 IAAF Worlds double medallist will be hoping the presence of reigning World and Olympic 100m queen, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson and Murielle Ahouré, the Ivorian who dethroned her as African champions at the starting block can propel her back to form and reckoning at the 16th IAAF World Championships in London in August.