Africa fastest women 400m runner Falilat Ogunkoya on Wednesday said Commonwealth track and field queen, Blessing Okagbare can return a sub-22 in the final of the women 200m slated for Thursday.
“I was not surprised when she won the women 100m with a new Commonwealth record of 10.85 sec because she is in very good shape’’ said Ogunkoya who set the Africa record of 49.10 sec in the 400m at the Atlanta 96 Olympic Games.
Ogunkoya who has a personal best of 22.22 sec in the 200m said from the heats of the 100m it was obvious that Okagbare will win the 100m,’’ after watching the heats, I knew the 100m gold was already in our bag, then my friend Micheal Johnson who is working for BBC further
confirmed what I already knew when he said that the gold medal is going to Nigeria after the 100m heats’’.
Ogunkoya, one of the very few women 400 runners to have ran 17 sub-50 sec in a season believed that Okagbare’s long strides and good start will give her the 200m easily, ‘’ but if the field is very strong and the other finalists push her by giving her a strong competition, she will not only win the 200m gold medal she will also run a sub-22 sec’’.
Ogunkoya attribute Okagbare’s success to her thirst for hard work, ‘’at that level, you don’t wait for anybody, it is your career and you have to work very hard to achieve your goals. I am glad and excited that she is hardworking, focused and determined. I am urging other athletes to emulate her,’’ said Ogunkoya
The final of the women’s 200 m race comes up 9.45 p. m Nigerian time.