Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor clocked a season’s best 10.80secs over 100 metres at the Paris leg of the IAAF Diamond League, but it was 0.06secs short of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s world lead time; going on to finish runners-up behind the Jamaican.
Women’s 100m at Meeting Areva was billed a dicey contest but going by few performances in national championships over last weekend, double world and Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce and American English Gardner stood out as favorite after tying for joint-first position in the 2015 leaderboard.
But even their bracket 10.79secs world lead time(prior to Paris) was susceptible to change before the end of the week with Fraser-Pryce- the sprint sensation who had twice raised the bar in the past two months- back in the field after missing the event in Oslo. On Saturday, weather in the French capital was conducive for every entrees to perform at their optimum best, with the wind speed calculated at +0.2m/s.
Who else held their stakes coming into the challenge? Côte d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahoure and World Championships silver medalist cum reigning European champion, Dafne Schippers, who set a Dutch national record (10.94PB) at the IAAF World Challenge in Hengelo on 24 May.
But at the turn of event, it was yet Nigerian Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, who- despite having been out of competition since 13 June- kept in contention for a possible pole finish at the end of the season. The African sprint queen and Commonwealth record holder’s time was her best dash so far in 2015, continuing a positive progression ahead of the World Championships billed for Beijing in late August.
Gardner finished third in 10.97secs, while 23-year-old Schippers failed to clock a sub-11 time at the Stade de France with her 11.02secs finish. Ahoure, 27, ended in fifth place in 11.04secs and in consequence earned 0 point in the Diamond Race to Zurich and Brussels.
Upon conclusion of the race, all attention were back fixated on Fraser-Pryce, whose 10.74secs also shifted the Areva Meeting Record. The two-time World Championships gold medalist (100m) now leads the Diamond Race by eight points, two points ahead of Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and Ahoure in second and third place respectively.