Okagbare Sprints Nigeria To 4x100m Gold | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Okagbare Sprints Nigeria To 4x100m Gold

Posted: Sep 17, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Africa’s sprint champion, Blessing Okagbare at the New Kintele Stadium in Brazzaville, Congo inspired Nigeria to her ninth 4x100m relay gold in the history of the Games.

Okagbare ran the second leg which took the wind out of the sail of favourites, Cote D’Ivoire, which had two athletes in the 100m final. Marie Josee Talou ran a new 11.02 seconds Games record and Adeline Gouenon who came in fourth ahead of the lone Nigerian in the race, Cecilia Francis.

Okagbare’s huge lead was sustained by USA-based Ngozi Onwumere in the third leg who handed over to Lawretta Ozoh to coast home in 43.10 seconds, the second fastest winning time since the Mary Onyali led team ran 43.04 seconds to win the gold in 2003.

Kelechi Nwanaga and junior international, Amusan Tobiloba gave Nigeria cause to smile on Day three of the track and field event of the Games by winning the javelin and 100m hurdles gold respectively.

Nwanaga, competing for Nigeria for the first time threw 52.70m to win the gold ahead of Ghana’s Mery Zuta (50.93m) and South Africa’s Jo Ane Van Dyk (50.52m) who settled for the silver and bronze medal respectively.

The Nigerian’s second round throw put her in the driving seat after Uganda’s Lucy Okumo Aber had thrown herself into the lead with her 50.52m effort in the first round.

Nwanaga has thus returned Nigeria to the summit of the event at the Games 50 years after Helena Okwara threw 40.30m to win the inaugural gold of the event at the inaugural edition of the competition.

In the 100m hurdles, Amusan maintained Nigeria’s strong hold on the event by out-hurdling all-comers including her more accomplished compatriot, American-Nigerian, Lindsay Lindley.

Amusan, disqualified at the semi-final stage at the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk,Ukraine in 2013 ran her second fastest career best of 13.15 to become the 10th Nigerian winner of the event and maintain a 10-consecutive winning streak by Nigeria.

The 18 year old had shown signs of a possible upset in the semi-final on Monday when she ran 13.11 seconds, a personal best to qualify for the final.