Okagbare Targets Long Jump Medal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Okagbare Targets Long Jump Medal

Posted: Jul 7, 2015 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Africa’s queen of the tracks, Blessing Okagbare, is targeting Lausanne leg of the IAAF Diamond League long jump on Thursday in Switzerland.

The Nigerian, who has focused on the 100m and 200m events, has not participated in the long jump since the 2013 World Championships in Monaco where she jumped 7.00m.

Okagabare is coming off a silver medal in the 100m in Paris. Her 10.80s run was enough for second place behind Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica.

She will face stiff competition from America’s Tianna Bartoletta, who has a season best of 7.12m, while her teammate Deloach Janay has jumped 6.95m in the past.



Meanwhile, less than 24 hours after South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk broke his African record with 43.96sec at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris, Isaac Makwala took it back with a sensational 43.72sec run at the Resisprint meeting in the Swiss City of La Chaux-de-Fonds on Sunday.

Makwala’s previous African record was set at the 2014 edition of this meeting, where he ran 44.01. Just two days short of the record’s first anniversary, van Niekerk shaved 0.05 from that mark in the French capital on Saturday.

Determined to take it back, Botswana’s Makwala shot into the lead in La Chaux-de-Fonds and had a sizeable lead at half way. Qatari teenager Abdalelah Haroun came on strong in the closing stages, but Makwala was able to hold on to his lead.

He crossed the line in 43.72, the fastest time in the world since Jeremy Wariner won the world title in 2007. Now the fastest non-US 400m sprinter in history, Makwala moves to fifth on the world all-time list, ahead of Olympic champion Kirani James and world champion LaShawn Merritt.