A 100 Meters Olympic Finals Medalist has been the most elusive for Africa in the history of the Olympics but reminiscent of a Usain Bolt like dominance of the 100 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, perennial Nigerian and African Sprint Queen Blessing Okagbare stormed off the blocks leaving her competitors in her wake as if they themselves were spectators in awe at what they were seeing in front of them, in a race that will now go down in history as the most dominant 100 Meters sprint performance by a woman on African soil, stopping the clock at 10.62 seconds which was later rounded to 10.63 seconds.
With the results released and the wind readings ascertained there were gasps of disappointment that the wind was above the legal limit of 2 Meters per Second.
Blessing Okagbare has done what no woman has ever done on African Soil and she will go down in the annals of history as an all time great, one that she already is, even before this spectacular performance.
The quest for that elusive individual 100 meters medal by an African woman at the Olympic Games is not without effort as seen through the exploits of Nigeria’s Mary Onyali who was 7th in the finals at both the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, a quest that would continue at the 2012 Olympics by Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast and Blessing Okagbare herself as they both settled for 7th and 8th positions respectively.
A new emerging star in Marie Jose Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast would come on strong for African women at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, as she would go on to be the lone qualifier for the finals placing 4th and barely missing out on a medal as she dipped at the finish line with Jamaica's Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce who would then be awarded the Bronze medal.
Will the 2020 Olympics be the magical Games where a woman sprinter from an African nation finally get on the Podium?
The Women’s 100 Meters in Tokyo is now must see TV between; Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce of Jamaica, Sha’carri Richardson of the USA, Dina Asher Smith of the UK, Marie Jose Ta Lou and Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast to name but some amongst a slew of names that will likely be finalists and medal contenders.
Africa Sports Ventures Group
African Sports Monthly Magazine