Nigerian Okagbare wins 200m bronze in 4x400m final
Blessing Okagbare bounced back from her women’s 100 metres disappointment to win bronze in the women’s 200m event on Friday, making it two medals for Nigeria at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
She had won silver in the women’s long jump on Sunday with her 6.99m leap, ending Nigeria’s 14-year dry run at the competition.
In a race dominated by Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 22.17secs, Okagbare and Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure had a photo finish in 22.32secs, but the Ivorian was eventually awarded the silver. The photo revealed Okagbare was beaten in six thousandths of a second.
It was the second time Okagbare would finish behind Fraser-Pryce whom she had beaten in the 100m at the London Anniversary Games last month. The Jamaican won the bronze in the women’s 100m dash in Moscow on Monday, a race in which Okagbare finished seventh.
United States’ Allyson Felix, who was tipped for a podium finish in the contest, could not finish the race as she sustained a hamstring injury with just 40m left in the race.
Okagbare’s silver and bronze medals put Nigeria in 21st position in the medal table and 18th on the placing table.
Okagbare said after the race, “I thank God for winning two medals at these championships. It was not an easy feat. I was tired but very happy to make it to the podium. What happened to Allyson Felix happened for a reason.”
She dedicated the medal to the president of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba, whom she described as a father as well as Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan.
“I also dedicate it to all my fans who stood by me. I’m really delighted that my hard work all through the season was not in vain,” she said.
Meanwhile, the quartets of Patience Okon, Bukola Abogunloko, Omolara Omotosoho and Regina George have qualified Nigeria for the women’s 4×400m relay final.
The team recorded a season best 3:27.39seconds to finish second behind Britain and qualify for Saturday’s final.