Former African sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will be seeking her second win at the Müller Grand Prix in Birmigham, United Kingdom on Sunday when the IAAF Diamond League train makes its 11th of scheduled 14 stops this year.
Six years ago, the tall, fair-skinned and beautiful Nigerian ran 22.55 seconds to win the 200m event ahead of 2012 Olympics 100m queen, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pyrce (22.72).
Since then, the best the 2014 Commonwealth Games double sprint queen has achieved in Birmingham was her third place finish (11.18) over the 100m two years ago.
All eyes will however be on Okagbare over the 200m on Sunday following her incredible run at the Prefontaine Classics in Stanford last June when she scorched to a 22.05 seconds personal season’s best to defeat a stellar cast that included 2016 Olympics 100,200m champion, Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, Nigeria-born Bahrainian, Salwa Eid Naser and Flying Dutchwoman, Dafne Schippers.
Okagbare will however face a sterner test this time around as she battles Asher-Smith and Schippers again as well as Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo for the $10,000 cash and maximum eight points on offer.
Others listed are Fraser-Pyrce who has come back stronger following child birth and another Jamaican, Bryant Dezerea.
A win for the Nigerian will see her confirm her place in the final of the event at the end of the month at the Weltklasse in Zurich.
For sprint hurdler, Amusan, this will be her first race in Birmingham and she will be looking to benefit from the impending duel between reigning world champion, Kendra Harisson of the USA and the fastest woman over the distance so far this year, Jamaica’s Danielle Williams.
Amusan holds a personal best of 12.49 seconds achieved this year and a perfect race on Sunday could see her move closer or break Gloria Alozie’s 12.44 seconds African record.
The petite hurdler has qualified for the final of the event for the second consecutive year and a good race on Sunday will give her the confidence to cause an upset early September when the final holds at the Memmorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium.