Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor got off with a bang in the IAAF Diamond League season, claiming first position in the Women’s 100m with a wind-legal sub-11 time in Shanghai on Sunday.
The Nigerian, 26, powered down the line ahead of the United States of America’s Torie Bowie and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye in 10.98secs (Season’s Best) with the wind speed recorded at +0.9m/s.
Torie crossed the line nine hundredth-seconds later than the Olympic and World Championships medalist, while Ahye’s 11.13secs time was better than fourth-placed Veronica Campbell-Brown’s 11.22secs and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 11.25secs in fifth place.
USA’s Muna Lee and home favourite Yongli Wei finished sixth and seventh respectively, as Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert and another Chinese Yujia Tao claimed the bottom two positions in the stellar nine-women field.
The Shanghai stadium is fast becoming a good hunting ground for the multi-talented Okagbare-Igho, who, 12 months ago, set Meeting Records on winning the 200m and the Long Jump.
“It’s not easy to compete with (the) best of the world but I won. Shanghai loves me, and the track loves me,” Okagbare-Igho said in the mixed zone.
Getting off her block in a 0.163 Reaction Time, the African short sprint record holder held her ground in the final 40m to claim a resounding victory- her 12th wind-legal sub-11 in the 100m.
“The first part of the race was the best part. I focused on my start and went well. Normally, I haven’t the best start but now I was leading from the beginning. I hope to compete here next year,” she said.
The victory gives Okagbare-Igho four maximum points in the Diamond Race to Zurich and Brussels, and she presently sits top of the women’s 100m standings.