By Iyalla Adaye, Port Harcourt
Okagbare IAAF World Championships: Blessing OkagbareIghoteguonor is expected to save Nigeria’s blushes at the ongoing IAAF World Championship by picking a medal in the women’s long jump. The country has yet to win any medal at the world meets despite featuring in both track and field events of the world meets taking place in London. Okagbare booked her place in the final of the women’s long jump event holding today having leapt of 6.51m on Wednesday night to finish 8th in the roster of 12 athletes that made it to the final..
The Delta State born athlete who won Silver medal in this same event four years ago could become the first Nigerian to win two individual medals from the same event in the history of the World Championships if she does enough in Friday’s final. Speaking ahead of the final jumps, the Nigeria Athletics Federation (AFN) president, Ibrahim Gusau expressed confidence that Nigeria will not return home empty handed from the champion with the participation of Okagbare in the final. “Okagbare seems to be the only sure hope for us to win something in London and I believe that God will help her to give the country something to celebrate with,.
” “It’s true that the athletes did not have best of the best preparation for the championship, and this is one area the new AFN Board is poised to tackle by the time we fully settle down. This issue of fire brigade approach in preparing out athletes for international competitions will soon be a thing of the past and very soon Nigeria will regain her lost glory in athletics., “ he said. The other Nigerian registered for the women’s long jump event, Ese Brume, could not qualify after jumping a distance of 6.16m, 6.29m and 6.38m in her three attempts. Brume, the current Commonwealth champion, could only manage a 10th place finish in her group and 17th overall