Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare is through to the women’s 100m semi finals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games but unfortunately other Nigerian athletes also on parade in the first day of action on the tracks fizzled out in their own respective races.
Okagbare, running a time of 11.16s, finished second in Heat 3 and her effort was enough to earn her one of the two automatic qualification spots.
Running from Lane 5, Okagbare effortlessly raced to a second place finish which guaranteed her a place in the next round while also conserving energy for the potentially explosive semi final round.
The 2015 world Bronze medallist, Tori Bowie, won the race in a time of 11.13s, with Angela Tenorio finishing third in 11.35s.
Okagbare now has her work well cut out in the semis where she will rub shoulders alongside USA’s English Gardner who won her heat and has a season’s best time of 10. 74 secs., Desiree Henry and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson in her semi-final heat 3.
Okagbare’s race is scheduled for 9.14pm in Rio ( 1.14 am Nigerian time).
Unfortunately, in the other races involving Team Nigeria athletes, Gloria Asumnu and Jennifer Madu crashed out having both finished fifth in their respective Heat races with a time of 11.55s 11.61s respectively.
The duo still have a shot as Nigeria will be competing in the women’s 4x100m event.
Also, making his first appearance at the Olympics, Orukpe Eraiyokan, crashed out of the 400m event despite running a Season’s Best (SB) of 47.42s to finish 7th in Heat 7.
It is the fastest time Eraiyokan is running since he ran a lifetime best of 44.95s at the African Games in Congo last year but it was far from enough to see him progress in the men’s 400m event.
In the Heptathlon, after four events, Nigeria’s Uhunoma Osazuwa is currently in 24th position, after amassing a points tally of 3609.
Heptathlon continues today with the long jump scheduled for 11. 45 am local time (3.45pm Nigerian time).
The African Championship and Nigerian Record holder will hope to do well in the remaining events: Long Jump, Javelin and 800m to improve on her standings as a podium finish looks far from achievable.
Team Nigeria’s fortunes on the field event are not any better as Nneka Okwelogu failed to make impact in the women’s Shot Put event.
Okwelogu was only successful in only one throw out of the three allowed and her effort of 16.67m was not enough to see her out of her group.