Nigerian Olympian Blessing Okagbare

Posted July 16th, 2012 at 4:25 pm (UTC-4)

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 hopes to sprint to a medal at the London Olympics

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.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

7 responses to “Nigerian Olympian Blessing Okagbare”

  1. Paul Sisco says:

    Great stuff as always Sonny, a.. and have a Sunny Time in London.

  2. Isaiah Udo says:

    This Blessing will be a blessing to Nigeria and Africa at the London Olympics. She is coming into the lime light at a time Nigeria—once a power house of sprinters– seems to be in short supply of top class atheltes.We wish her a good outing.

  3. chrys Udoh says:

    Okagbare is the first ever technically coordinated Nigerian sprinter to feature in Olympics. The young woman recognizes her talent; she goes to work with it. Her form, strides, concentration, is a single attribute commonly seen in a gold medallist at various Olympics. What will be crucial to her success at the games is the focus to qualify in her heats for a fair lane assignment. Then at the finals, lay it bare for on tracks. She has that classic, patriotic personality of a typical educated Nigerian woman I will be cheering her on as she heads to the finish line for the gold. Good luck Blessing!

  4. @Chrys Udohh says:

    You write as though Nigeria has never produced world class athletes- what about Mary Onyali, who I believe was cheated out of olympic medals by those East German and Russian athletes on drugs???? Or Chioma Ajunwa who was wrongly convicted of drugs offences? She still went on to win gold in Atlanta

  5. Sonny Young says:

    Hi Chrys. Thank you for your comments. I was writing about 2012 Nigerian Olympian Okagbare, not past Nigerian Olympians Onyali and Ajunwa. I remember both – I interviewed Onyali at the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja. Sporty regards, Sonny.

  6. chrys Udoh says:

    No Sir, I sincerely disagree with you. In my collection of Nigerian women star sprinters, of course Mary is one of them. I am pretty sure you remember that Herculean performance by Nigerian women in 4x100m relay where Charity Opara was ahead only to fizzle away. I have those photos. When Mary Onyali was battling sprinters who were alleged to have used performance- enhancing substance in competition, I was in a small mountain town of Morgantown, West Virginia cheering her on knowing that if those athletes ran naturally, Mary would have outrun them. I could not be any happier when she won a bronze medal at the Atlanta Olympics. Therefore, there would be no substance in any speculations that I overlook Onyali or other deserving Nigerian female sprinters. After all, she is the African Track Queen of her time. Beyond that, I was however, honestly assessing, and believing that based on Okagbare’s performances, including her NCCA collegiate accomplishments, her running form, focus, discipline, physical quality, level of training, and determination, she has compellingly singled herself out from any Nigerian sprinters former or present. She is a good student of the sport, and will go along way at the upcoming Olympics. So, Sony I am with you, and I adore our sprinters, while I vehemently detest past and present administration of sports in Nigeria. May be impressive performances by Nigerian contingent at the Olympics will help them see things in a productive posture. Until then Okagbare alone cannot rescue Nigeria’s troubling situation. C. Udoh, Washington

  7. Eric says:

    Sincerely wish all contingent to the olympics and you Blessing in particular a successful outing equally hope and pray for you not to lose ur focus. Nigerians and indeed the continent of Africa will recognise ur feat. Be calm and remain focus!

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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