Four-time Olympian and Commonwealth double gold medallist Blessing Okagbare made light work of her qualification in the 100m Heat 6 at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to book her place in the semifinals of the event. She is joined by compatriot Grace Nwokocha in the semifinals after Nwokocha qualified from Heat 5 of the same event.
Okagbare finished in first place in her Heat with a time of 11.05 seconds despite slowing down in the final 30m of the race as she coasted to the finish line. She finished ahead of Asha Phillips (11.31 seconds) and Tynia Gaither (11.34 seconds) to book her place in the semifinals. Fellow qualifier Grace Nwokocha had to raise her game as she ran a new Personal Best time of 11.00 seconds to qualify for the semifinals, finishing Heat 5 in third place. She finished behind Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.84 seconds) and Swiss Alja Del Ponte (10.91 seconds) to qualify for the semifinals.
Okagbare will be competing in Heat 1 of her third consecutive Olympic semifinal against Canada’s Khamica Bingham, Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah, Switzerland’s Alja Del Ponte, Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, USA’s Jenna Prandini and Germany’s Tatjana Pinto. Nwokocha will be in Heat 3 against The Gambia’s Gina Bass, Italy’s Anna Bongiorni, Britain’s Daryll Neita, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, USA’s Teahna Daniels, Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji, and Ivory Coast’s Muriel Ahoure, who just equalled the all-time African women’s sprint record. The top two athletes from each of the semifinal Heats will gain automatic qualification to the final.