By Olalekan Okusan
Blessing Okagbare continues her build up to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after running 22.66secs to finish third in the women’s 200m of the 2021 Tom Jones Memorial Invitational meet in United States.
Okagbare who represented Tumbleweed Track Club in the race finished third behind Sha’Carri Richardson and Lynna Irby who ran 22.11secs and 22.57secs to finish in first and second places respectively.
American Richardson a week after clocked 10.72secs in 100m and she continued her fine form to run 22.11 in her 200m season debut on the first day of Tom Jones Memorial Invitational at the weekend.
It is the 21-year-old’s second quickest ever time for the distance behind her PB of 22.00 set in Florida last August and saw the world U20 record-holder win the heat by almost half a second ahead of Lynna Irby with 22.57.
However, Okagbare, World and Olympic medallist was third in 22.66secsin the star-studded final.
Meanwhile, African and Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine clocked 9.99secs to win the South African 100m title in Pretoria.
“I’m glad to run another sub-10 and the key is to stay healthy,” said Simbine. “It’s another big year and I’m sticking to the main goal, which is the Tokyo Olympics.”
Olympic 400m champion and world record-holder Wayde van Niekerk returned after winning his 200m semifinal in 20.38 (-1.4m/s) to match that time to win the final (+0.1m/s), easing up on his approach to the finish line.
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