By Godwin Aikigbe
Nigeria’s queen of track, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor finished second in 200m metres at Jamaica International Invitational on Saturday.
The Sapele-born clocked 22.66 sec to finish behind Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, who triumphed in 22.55sec in her long-awaited duel with the Nigerian, who has the fastest 200m in the world this year of 22.04.
Jamaica’s double Olympic sprint Elaine Thompson was back in the winner’s circle Saturday, cruising to victory in the 100m at the Jamaica International Invitational in 11.06sec. Thompson, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 100m and 200m, finished well in front of compatriots Kerron Stewart (11.25) and Natasha Morrison (11.26) in a race that saw Jamaicans occupy the top five places.
Thompson’s victory came 11 days after she pulled out of the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai with what meet organizers called a “physical issue.” A week earlier Thompson had finished third in the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Doha.
American Ronnie Baker won the men’s 100m in 10.00 in a favorable wind of 2m/sec. He headed compatriot Mike Rodgers (10.04) with Jamaica’s Tykwendo Tracey third (10.14).
Jamaican Oshane Bailey was third in 10.28 and Nesta Carter settled for fifth in 10.35, just ahead of ageless Kim Collins (10.37).
While the sprints were the center of attention, American DeAnna Price highlighted the night’s field events in winning the women’s hammer with a throw of 76.27m — the best in the world this year at one centimeter better than the 76.26 of Belarusian Hanna Malyshik.