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Okagbare in tough 200m semifinals group, Oke, Lamigoke, Ukaoma eliminated

By Christian Okpara
16 August 2016   |   2:28 am
Nigeria’s only realistic hope of a medal in athletics, Blessing Okagbare, has been drawn in a tough semifinal group that will require she runs better than she did in the 100 metres to make the final.
(L-R) Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare, Britain's Desiree Henry, and Jamaica's Elaine Thompson compete in the Women's 100m Semifinal during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2016. Johannes EISELE / AFP

(L-R) Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, Britain’s Desiree Henry, and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson compete in the Women’s 100m Semifinal during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 13, 2016.<br />Johannes EISELE / AFP

Nigeria’s only realistic hope of a medal in athletics, Blessing Okagbare, has been drawn in a tough semifinal group that will require she runs better than she did in the 100 metres to make the final.

Okagbare surprisingly failed to make the 100 metres final on Saturday night, fuelling fears that she might not fully prepared for the Games.

To qualify for the semifinals of the 200 metres tomorrow, she must run faster than her 22.23 seconds personal best

Okagbare, who won her heat in 22.71s yesterday, has been pitched against reigning world champion, Dafne Schippers of Holland and Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who ran 10.71 seconds to win the 100m gold here in Rio De Janeiro.

Also in Okagbare’s first semifinal line-up are U.S.’s Deajah Stevens, who holds a personal season’s best of 22.25 seconds and Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, who incidentally came second (22.77s) behind Okagbare in the first round heat.

The Nigerian will be fighting for either the two automatic slots on offer for the final or aim to be among the two fastest losers’ spots, which is open to athletes in all the three semi-final heats.

Meanwhile, Nigeria continued its poor run in track and field with the duo of Olu Olamigoke and Tosin Oke failing to qualify for the finals of the triple jump event.

Olamigoke expectedly failed to make his Olympics debut a memorable one by failing to jump beyond 16.10m, 85cm short of the 16.95m qualifying standard set for the event.

Oke also could only jump 16.47m to place 16th in his qualifying group.

Also out of the Olympics is 400m hurdler, Miles Ukaoma, who failed to hurdle past the first round.

The USA-based Nigerian came in fifth (49.84s) in the very first heat of the 400m hurdles to wave bye to the Rio Games.