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Yusuf, Ogunkoya back Okagbare for Olympic medal



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Former athletes have backed Blessing Okagbare to win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, The PUNCH reports.

Okagbare made history at the PTS athletics meet in Bratislava, Slovakia on Wednesday when she finished in 10.98secs to coast home to victory and erase the meet’s previous record of 11.09secs set by Czech Republic’s Jarmila Kratochvílová in June 1983.

Ciara Neville from Ireland and Naomi Sedney came second and third in 11.47secs and 11.48secs respectively.

Okagbare ran her first sub-11 seconds of the season at the USTAF invitational in Eugene, Oregon in April before scorching to a 10.90secs personal season’s best at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar last week.

The Nigerian 100m and 200m record holder is one of 11 Nigerian track and field athletes to have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which holds from July 23 to August 8.

Divine Oduduru, Ese Brume, Tobi Amusan, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Annette Echikunwoke, Raymond Ekewvo, Favour Ofili, Ruth Osoro, Grace Nwokocha and Usheoritse Itsekiri are the others who have qualified for the world’s biggest sporting event.

Retired quarter-miler and Olympic silver medallist Fatimah Yusuf-Olukoju, believes Okagbare is a sure bet to win a medal if all things go her way.

“She has posted a sub-11sec three times this season and that makes her look good for a medal at the Olympics.

“Okagbare is sure but if she keeps it up.”

Two-time African 100m champion, Seun Ogunkoya, also backed Okagbare for a medal in Tokyo.

“At the moment, Okagbare remains the best in the circuit. She’s the best but I pray she keeps that shape until the Olympics, if she does, she is a medal hopeful.

“Ese Brume, Amusan, Enekwechi, Ekewvo, Ofili and Osoro are also medal hopefuls.”

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