Nigerian female sprints sensation, Blessing Okagbare-Ighotegunor was grinning from ear-to-ear, after emerging first in the 100m event of the latest IAAF Diamond League meet in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday.
It was a returning to winning ways for Okagbare-Ighotegunor and a very glorious one at that, as she won with a season’s best of 11:05 seconds, ahead of her rival from Cote d’Ivoire, Josee Ta Lou, who made 11:09secs in the race at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium.
Ta Lou was leading up to the 50m but the World Championship silver medalist had to settle for second, while Crystal Emmanuel was third in 11.30 seconds and Daphne Schippers of Holland fifth in 11.32 seconds.
It was truly a revival for Okagbare-Ighotegunor, as it was her first win in four appearances at the IAAF Diamond League, while also marking the 30 year old sprinter’s first victory of the 2019 season.
The lass from Sapele in Delta State, who earlier clocked a new season’s best of 22.58 in the 200m to place third at the IAAF World Challenge in Nanjing last month, made her 60th appearance in the Diamond League and she marked it with her first-ever win in Rabat.
In her previous outings this year in the Diamond League, Okagbare finished third in the 200m in Doha, while it was slightly better at the Shanghai Diamond League where she finished second in the 100m.
Before finally breaking the jinx on Sunday, Okagbare failed to win any of her previous Diamond League races in Rabat, where she debuted in 2016 and ran 11.11 to place second behind Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson.
In a citation for her, World Athletics (WA) stated on their website: “No athlete has appeared in more IAAF Diamond League events than Blessing Okagbare.
“At the latest count, the Nigerian had made a staggering 69 competitive starts in the 100m, 200m and long jump and claimed some 47 scoring finishes since making her IAAF Diamond League debut in 2010.
“Her most noteworthy achievement came during an electric 2013 campaign when in London she set not one but two African 100m records on the same day.
“(She backed) up a 10.86 run in the heat with a blistering 10.79 performance in the final.”