Okagbare to race in Jamaica

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Blessing Okagbare won two medals for Nigeria

Shelley-Anne Fraser-Pryce will also be at the Meet in Jamaica.

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare has been confirmed as one of the top athletes to compete in Kingston on May 3, at the Jamaica International Invitational, an IAAF World Challenge Meet.

The Meet in Jamaica is among the several others lined up for Okagabre, geared at helping her adequately prepare for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland later in the year.

Okagbare, who had an intense 2013 season – breaking the medal jinx plaguing Nigeria at the World Championships in Russia was, was conspicuously missing in action for the country at the recently-concluded IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.

It is not yet clear if there will still be look ins for other Nigerian athletes by the organisers of the Kingston Meet.

Meanwhile, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has also been confirmed as one of the top guns for the Jamaica Meet. The Jamaican athlete made history recently as the first woman to win world titles in the 60m, 100m, 200m and 4x100m

Last weekend, Fraser-Pryce won 60m gold at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, speeding to a world-leading 6.98, the fastest time in the world for four years. It was her fourth world title within a seven-month period, following the gold medals she won in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last year.

Others in line to rub shoulders with Okagbare and Fraser-Pryce are the likes of Allyson Felix, Olympic 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross, world 100m hurdles champion Briana Rollins and world indoor 400m champion Francena McCorory.

Fraser-Pryce’s training partners, Kaliese Spencer and Stephenie McPherson – who both took silver as part of the Jamaican 4x400m team at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot last weekend – are also set to compete.

On the men’s side, world 400m champion La Shawn Merritt is one of the star attractions, along with world 200m bronze medallist, Curtis Mitchell; 2012 world indoor silver medallist, Nesta Carter; and world 100m and 200m finalist Nickel Ashmeade.

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Mark Isreal is a prolific freelance journalist and broadcaster, and has worked for several news magazine. He currently lives in South Africa

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