Okagbare Erases Onyali’s Record

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Okagbare Erases Onyali’s Record

Post  nex on Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:32 am

Blessing Okagbare yesterday erased Mary Onyali-Omagbemi’s 12-year-old African Senior Athletics Championships 100m record of 11.05 set at the Dakar edition with a new 11.03 here at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya. Running in lane 4, Okagbare who had earlier in the semi final produced a stunning race that left the packed arena in thunderous applause to her skill, was rattled by the sheer attack of Gabonese sprinter Perennes P. Zang who lead from the block.

But with 30m to the finish line, the Delta girl kicked, tied with Zang and barely finished the last ten metres in the lead to clinch her first ever African championship gold and a new record. Zang picked the silver in 11.15. “I am glad I made it to the gold. It wasn’t an easy race considering the initial distraction caused by the helicopter flying above at the time the starter’s gun went. I didn’t want to beat the gun and be disqualified,” gushed the University of Texas in El Paso general studies major.

Defending champion Damola Osayomi (11.22) finished third while another Nigerian girl Agnes Osazuwa (11.33) placed fourth outside the podium. Both Ogho Oghene Egwero (10.26) and Obinna Metu (10.31) finished fifth and seventh respectively.

Seun Adigun had earlier won Nigeria’s first gold in the 100m hurdles, blasting the field in her season best time of 13.14. The silver went to Gnima Faye (13.67) of Senegal while Algerian girl Amina Feguene (13.87) picked the bronze.

Nigeria’s only bronze medal so far came from the long jump pit where Stanley Gbagbeke battled African champion Kotsho Mokoena of South Africa in vain to land the medal in 8.06m. Mokoena won the gold in 8.23m while the silver went to Senegalese Ndiss Badji in 8.10m.

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