Nigeria’s sprint sensation, Blessing Okagbare has been applauded by a FIFA Referee Instructor, Zakwai Abraham following her success in the 100m event at the commonwealth games.
Okagbare beat two of her Jamaican contenders to create a new commonwealth games record of 10.85 seconds at Hampden Park on Monday.
Zakwai Abraham called on stakeholders to encourage talents such as Okagbare who sacrifice so much to fly the national colours at international stage.
“I am highly elevated as a Nigerian to associate myself with her winning the gold medal in Glasgow. I have been following events concerning her, and I have seen her progress steadily. I believe she can even beat her own time. I call on Nigerian Athletics Federation and corporate bodies and individuals to support her on and off season trainings which are mostly abroad and they cost money. Once again I congratulate her,” said Zakwai Abraham
Okagbare who also competes in the long jump event, is opting out of it to compete in the 200m race where she has already qualified for the finals.
She timed 22.43sec in winning her 200m semifinal on Thursday and will line up in the final against Jamaican trio Schillonie Calvert, Anneisha McLaughlin and Samantha Henry-Robinson, English threesome Jodie Williams, Bianca Williams and Anyika Onuora, and Canada's Kimberly Hyacinthe.
Mixed feelings
While Team Nigeria celebrated Blessing Okagbare’s women’s 100m gold feat and a new Commonwealth Games record, news broke of the provisional suspension of weightlifting gold medalist, Chika Amalaha, for a failed dope test.
The ‘A’ sample of the 16-year-old weightlifter who won Nigeria’s first gold medal of the games with a combined total of 196kg in the women’s 53kg category, was found to contain amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide, which are both prohibited as diuretics and masking agents.
Sample ‘B’ which is still being expected will determine further actions to be taken by authorities on her medal and other sanctions.
Dika Toua took silver to secure Papua New Guinea’s first medal of Glasgow 2014, with India’s Santoshi Matsa winning bronze behind the Nigerian athlete.