London — Nigeria's hope for a medal in the women's 100m of the London Olympic Games was shattered saturday as Blessing Okagbare was overwhelmed in the final race won by Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 10.75secs. It was a successful back-to-back victory for the 25-year-old Jamaican who had similarly picked the gold at Beijing four years ago.
Okagbare who won her semi final race in 10.92 could not re-enact that form when it mattered most. A poor reaction time from the block ensured that the Nigerian champion struggled to the finish in 11.01 to place eighth. American World Champion winner, Carmelita Jeter (10.78) and another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown picked the consolatory bronze medal in 10.81.
Earlier, Gloria Asumnu was eclipsed by the a tough field that included Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.85) , American Allyson Felix (10.94) and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago (11.0). Asumnu placed fifth in 11.21.
Nigeria's two semi finalists in the women's 400m Regina George and Omolara Omotosho finished fifth and fourth in their respective races. George ran 51.35 in the second semi final won by World Champion, Amantle Montsho of Botswana in 50.15.
Omotosho on the other hand, clocked 51.41 in the third quarter mile race Russian Antonina Krivoshapka dominated from star to finish in 49.81. The Russian leads the entire pack of runners into the final slated for this evening.
Speaking at the mixed zone, George said that though she may not have made the final, she is happy with what she has achieved here.
"I had planned to make the final but was overwhelmed by the strong field I competed in. Anyway, I don't think getting to the semis in my very first outing at the Olympic is a bad one. What this means for me now is to go and continue my programme and start competing with the best in the world. That way, I will get the needed experience to become a better quarter miler," observed the African Championship silver medalist. Omotosho on her own part, wants better preparation for next global competition Team Nigeria will be involved in.
Nigeria's only qualifier for the 400m hurdles, Amaechi Morton, surprisingly pulled out of the event just moment after jumping the second hurdle. He told THISDAY that he felt pains in his left thigh and could not continue the race.
"I felt a sharp pain in my thigh and so had to pull out to avoid aggravating it. It was just unfortunate for me," rued the USA based hurdler whon had showed so much promise coming to London as the season's sixth fastest in the event.