The dark clouds that seemed to hover around the camp of Nigeria prior to the start of the athletics events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been quenched abruptly with the splendid performance of Blessing Okagbare and Grace Nwokocha in the women’s 100m heat on Friday.

The two sprinters have both qualified for the semifinals having finished first [Blessing Okagbare] and third [Grace Nwokocha] in their respective race.

Grace Nwokocha clocked a new Personal Bet [11.00] to finish third behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce [10.84] and Ajla Del Ponte [10.91] in heat 5.

Meanwhile, it was quite an easy win for 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m gold medalist – Blessing Okagbare in heat 6, starting off slowly before picking up her pace & then having an easy finish in 11.05 seconds, ahead of Great Britain’s Asher Philips [11.31] and TyNia Gaither [11.34] from Bahamas.

Ten [10] Nigerian athlete – Ruth Usoro [Jumper], Favour Ofili [Sprinter], Chioma Onyekwere [Discus Throw], Annette Echikunwoke [Hammer Throw], Chidi Okezie [4x400m mixed relays], Knowledge Omovoh [4x100m women], Rosemary Chukwuma [100m], Glory Patrick [4x400m mixed relays], Yinka Ajayi [4x400m mixed relays] and Tina Godless [4x100m relays] received ban from the Athletics Integrity Unit on Wednesday for failing anti-doping guidelines.

By James K. Attaglo Wilson