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Delta sweeps stakes as Okagbare sets record

By Onochie Anibeze
Blessing Okagbore had the poorest reaction time at the blocks but when the race ended the Delta athlete was celebrating a record. She has become the first Nigerian to win the All Nigeria Open four consecutive times.

But it was the closest race she has run in Nigeria. There were no celebrations after the race. Nobody was sure of the winner. The athletes and fans waited for the photo-finish machine. Media men swooped on both athletes. The waiting game lasted for some time.

TOO DEEP: Blessings Okagbare deeps ahead of Gloria Asumu to clinch the women 100m finals yesterday in Calabar. Photo: Sylva Eleanya.

Gloria Asumu, born in the USA and who had to change nationality only last year was leading the race and many thought she had it. Ten metres to the finish, Blessing caught with her and with a stunning deeping action the camera picked her as the 100m winner for women with a time of 11.12

”I’m happy I won but I wanted to return a faster time. The rains on the tracks affected us a little bit.

She has run 11.01 this year and was targeting  sub 11 seconds.

Glroria Asumnu returned 11.3 seconds and said that what delighted her was making the Olympic team. She ran as Delta athlete and Lawretta Ozoh made it an all Delta affair, returning 11.19 to place third.

”This was a great race because all the top three returned Olympic A standard times,” Dr. Ken Anugwuze said with excitement. Damola Osayomi running for NSCDC placed fourth with 11.38 seconds.

”This is competitive, it’s the way it should be,” Gabriel Okon said about the final.



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