By Ben Efe
Blessing Okagbare-Ighotegunor’s quest to land her first World Championships gold in the women 100m, ended on a heap of regrets yesterday at the Beijing National Stadium. She placed last in the final won by Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
The Jamaican clocked 10.79 seconds to win her third consecutive world title. Dutch woman Dafne Schippers came a close second with 10.81 seconds, while Tori Bowie occupied the bronze position with 10.86 seconds.
Like Bolt, Fraser-Pryce came into the championships with two Olympic and two world titles in the 100m. And after Bolt ran to his third gold on Sunday, Fraser-Pryce did likewise on Monday.
Fraser-Pryce bolted from the blocks, powered through midway and was able to lift her right arm and index finger in victory as she crossed the line in 10.76 seconds.
Perhaps Nigerian athletics buffs who advised Okagbare-Ighotegunor, to stick to her traditional event the long jump, have been justified. The Nigerian medal hopeful was clearly out her depth in the final. She had indicated in the semi-final that she would be in the podium with her 10.89 seconds, but before the final her coach, was seen trying to psych her up. It was clear that the pep talk didn’t work; Okagbare-Ighotegunor had a bad start and that marked the beginning of her struggle to catch up. She finished at 11.02 seconds a far cry from her 10.80 season’s best. She will now try to rescue her reputation in the 200m and long jump where she won bronze and silver medals at the 2013 edition.
In the women 400m. Patience Okon-George will run in the semi-final by mid day. She is almost guaranteed a place in the final with the 50.87 seconds she did in the heats. Tosin Adeloye and Regina George could not go beyond the heats.