Nigerian sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare, is the new women’s 100m champion at the IAAF Diamond League in Rabat, Morocco.
Okagbare, who is also the African 200m record holder, took a giant leap in her rivalry with continental foe Cote d’ Ivoire’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou.
The Ivorian and current African champion led the race in its initial stages, trotting past her opponents as she dominated the track.
However, in the final moments of the race, Okagbare put up a brilliant show to knockdown the tape with a Season Best time of 11.05secs, a new feat for the commonwealth gold medalist.
Ta Lou finished the race in second place, four seconds after Okagbare, while Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel emerged third in 11.30secs.
Sunday’s race was Okagbare’s 60th appearance and her first ever win at the Diamond League.
In her previous outings in the Diamond League in 2019, Okagbare finished third in the 200m event in Doha, before emerging second in 100m at the Shanghai Diamond League.
Since the IAAF added Rabat to the Diamond League circuit in 2016, Okagbare has made four consecutive race trips to the Moroccan city.
In her debut Diamond League race in Rabat, Okagbare ran 11.11secs to place second behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson.
The Nigerian emerged fourth in 2017 with 11.03s behind Thompson who ran a riveting 10.87s.
In 2018, Okagbare was not in her prime form as she finished in 7th place (23.42) in the 200m event.
Now that the Nigerian has won the highest honour in Rabat, where 2019 All African Games will be held, all eyes will turn to see if the sprint queen will compete for Nigeria when the game’s kickoff.
Featured image source: Premium Times Nigeria