At the ongoing 2016 All Nigeria Championships in Sapele, Delta State, Blessing Okagbare claimed her seventh national title by winning the Women’s 100m event in 11.02 secs.
Okagbare, effortlessly won her semi-final race with a time of 11.02 secs, wrestling the title away from last year’s winner, Gloria Asumnu.
The 2016 All Nigeria Athletics Championship which began on Thursday serves as trial for the Rio 2016 Olympics Games. It will finish on Saturday with the CAA Grand Prix/Warri Relays.
Before Thursday’s feat, Okagbare’s Championship record was 11.06 which she set while she won the 2010 edition of the All Nigeria Championship in Calabar. Peace Ukoh came second while Gloria Asumnu finished third.
Many Nigerian athletes from across Europe and the United States such as Gloria Asumnu, Khadija Suleiman, Jennifer Madu and a host of others are also in to fight for places in the Team Nigeria to Rio.
On the male side are also, Seye Ogunlewe, the reigning 100m champion, and other strong challengers for his title like Oduduru, Obinna Metu and Ogho Egwero .
The CAA Grand Prix and Warri Relays promises to be exciting with South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and others sending in their best teams.
Yussuf Alli, the technical manager of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), is excited about the 2016 championships.
Alli says this is the biggest turnout of local and foreign based athletes in the history of the championships with over 40 athletes from Europe and America alone.
On behalf of AFN, Alli thanked the Delta State Government through the state’s Sports Commission and Seplat Petroleum for their support that made the trial possible.
Sapele is the home of some athletic greats like Endurance Ojokolo, Olusoji Fasuba and fast rising Divine Oduduru. Others are Endurance Abinuwa and Blessing Okagbare.