One Nigerian athlete to watch at the upcoming London Olympics is Blessing Okagbare, who will compete in the women’s long jump and in the women’s 100 meter dash. The 23-year-old Okagbare, bronze medalist in the long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, won gold in the event at the recent African championships in Benin, as well as a silver in the 100 meters. She looks to be in top form ahead of the London Games. Running in lane three Saturday (July 14th) at the London Grand Prix, Okagbare beat world champion Carmelita Jeter of the United States, winning the 100 meters in 11.01 seconds.
Okagbare dedicated her victory in London to Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Nigeria’s Delta State, who gave financial support to her and other athletes when they trained recently in Oghara, Delta State.
Blessing Okagbare has also trained in the United States. She was a star for the University of Texas at El Paso’s track and field program, winning national titles in both the long jump and the 100 meter dash.
Track and field action will be held at the Olympic stadium in east London. The women’s 100 meter dash final will be August 4 and the women’s long jump final August 8.