Okagbare eases to win, Nwokocha clocks Lifetime Best in women’s 100m heats at Tokyo Olympics

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Blessing Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha – Nigeria’s two representatives in the women’s 100m – started their campaign on very good notes on Friday as they both sealed automatic qualification to the semi-finals of the event after some scintillating performance in the heats.

Up against the fastest woman alive Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce amongst others in Heat 5, Nwokocha stepped up well to the occasion and clocked a new Personal Best of 11.00s (+1.3)on what’s her first appearance in a major international competition.

The 20-year-old Nigerian’s time could only get her a third place finish behind Fraser-Pryce (10.84s) and Switzerland’s Ajia del Ponte (10.91s NR) in her heat, but that’s just enough to see through to the semis.

Not long after, in Heat 6, Okagbare breezed through to a win in 11.05s, so easy was it for her that she jogged through the final 10 meters thereabout.

Okagbare’s time ranks 9th overall, Nwokocha 7th in the first round of the event which saw Marie Jose TaLou blazingly equal the African Record (which she already holds) of 10.78s (-0.3) – the fastest time ever recorded in the women’s 100m at the Olympics.

For the semi-finals which will be staged tomorrow, Saturday, Okagbare is entered in the first heat. Alongside her will be world no. 2 Dina Asher-Smith and defending champion Elaine Thomson. The Nigerian will need a top-two finish to seal automatic qualification to the final, which will take place not long after tomorrow.

Entry list of Semi-final 1 of the women’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics

Meanwhile, Nwokocha has been drawn in a tough Semi-final 3 alongside Fraser-Pryce, Murielle Ahoure and Teahna Daniels. She will race from lane 8.

Entry list for Semi-final 3 of the women’s 100m at the Tokyo Olympics

The semi-finals start by 11:15am (Nigerian time) tomorrow.

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