Okagbare and Amusan poised to compete at Diamond League finals
At the finals of the IAAF Diamond League series, Nigeria will have two of her best sprinters in Blessing Okagbare and Tobi Amusan, battling other top athletes across the world for glory.
While Okagbare will have the chance to compete for the $50,000 winner’s cash prize in the 100m final at Weltklasse in Zurich on August 30, Amusan will be hoping to cause a major upset in the 100m Hurdles final at the AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels the following day.
Okagbare qualified to be listed in the 100m final start list having placed 4th in the standings with a total of 19 points by virtue of competing in five of the six events held across 12 cities.
The 200m African Record holder will face a stacked field composed of African Champion Marie Jose Ta Lou and her Ivorian counterpart Murielle Ahoure; Olympics Champion, Elaine Thompso; flying Dutch woman, Dafne Schippers; European Champion, Dina Asher-Smith; reigning Commonwealth Champion Michelle-Lee Ahye; and Carina Horn from South Africa.
Okagbare will be hoping to meet up with pace with which she ran at the opening meeting of the season in Doha, where she set a season best 10.90s to finish in 2nd place behind Ta Lou. Notably, the Nigerian’s record in Doha stands as the third fastest time this season and a repeat of this feat will most likely place her in a top three finish in the finals in Zurich.
Meanwhile, Amusan, who has made major headway this season, sealed her place in the 100m Hurdles final after finishing in 8 place with 12 points.
The hurdles sensation, who has bagged both Commonwealth and African Championships winner’s medals this season, will come up against some of the world’s fastest hurdlers in Brussels in what happens to be her very first Diamond League final appearance.
Olympic Champion, Brianna McNeal; World Record holder, Kendra Harrison of USA and teammate, Sharika Nelvis; World Champion, Danielle Williams; Nadine Visser of the Netherlands; and American duo of Christina Manning and Dawn Harper-Nelson are the contenders for the Nigerian hurdler in the final on Friday.