NIGERIAN medal hopeful,
Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor
leapt into the final of the long jump
event at the on-going IAAF World
Championships in London.
The silver medallist in the
event from the 14th edition of the
championships in Moscow,Russia
four years ago ensured
qualification for Friday evening’s
final with her 6.51m second round
leap after opening with 6.21m in
the first round.The mark ensured
she finished eighth in the overall
The Nigerian’s 6.51m mark is
the lowest qualifying mark by
a Nigerian in the history of the
championships,falling behind the
6.68m Christy Opara-Thompson
jumped to qualify for the final of
the event in 1991 in Tokyo,Japan.
Police woman Chioma Ajunwa
holds the best qualfying mark by
a Nigerian with her 7.01m mark in
Athens,Greece in 1997.It is also the
second longest qualifying mark
by a woman in the history of the
championships after Fiona May’s
7.04m leap in 1999.
Okagbare will now fancy her
chances of winning her third
global medal in the event after
winning a pair of silver first in
2008 at the Olympics in Beijing
where she first won a fortuitous
bronze medal (6.91m) which was
later elevated to silver following
the disqualification of Russia’s
Tatyana Lebedeva for positive
dope test.
She also won a silver medal
in Moscow in 2013,jumping
6.99m,two centimetres behind
multiple world champions,Britney
Reese of the USA who picked her
third consecutive gold medal
medal in the event.
Okagbare will however still
battle familiar foes for a place in
the podium come Friday(today),
as three-time world champion
Reese,reigning world and
Olympic champion Tatiana
Bartoleta of the USA,Darya
Klishna of Russia competing as a
neutral,Lorraine Ugen of Britain
and Ivana Spanovic of Serbia all
came through the qualification test
for places in the final as none of the
12 qualifiers failed to hit the 6.70m
qualification mark under the
atrocious condition at the Olympic
stadium in London.

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