Nigerian female athletes, Blessing Okagbare, and Grace Nwokocha have both qualified for the semi-final of the women’s 100m at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.
Okagbare, who is the reigning Nigerian record holder in both the 100m and 200m, finished first in her heat in 11.05 seconds to advance, while United Kingdom’s Asha Phillips finished second in 11.31 seconds and Bahamian athlete Tynia Gaither came third in 11.34 seconds.
This is Okagbare’s third consecutive Olympics semi-final and the fourth appearance in the Olympics.
Grace Nwokocha moved into fifth in the Nigeria all-time list behind Okagbare (10.79), Glory Alozie (10.90), Mary Onyali (10.97), and Damola Osayomi (10.99.
The 20-year-old finished third with a new Personal Best of 11.00 seconds to qualify for the semi-final. World no. 1 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the heat with 10.84s with Switzerland’s Ajia Del Fonte placing 2nd with 10.91s.
32-year-old Okagbare is an Olympic and World Championship medallist. She is the women’s Commonwealth Games record holder and current African record holder in 200m.
While Nwokocha qualified for her first semi-final, Okagbare will be running in her third since after making her debut in the event at the 2012 Olympics in London.