Okagbare opts out of All Africa Games
THOSE hoping to see African and Commonwealth track queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, return to action after fumbling at the just concluded IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China, may have to wait a bit longer.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) confirmed yesterday that Okagbare would not be part of its squad to the 11th All Africa Games, which begins tomorrow in Brazzaville, Congo.
Okagbare was Team Nigeria’s medal hope to the IAAF Championship in Beijing. She did not only fumble but painted a picture of an athlete, who does not have the interest of her nation at heart.
Apart from finishing last in the 100m final on a day millions of Nigerians had fastened their seatbelts in anticipation of a fun-filled night, Okagbare failed to show up for the 200m event four days later, despite appearing in the warm up area.
From the podium seven years ago at the same Bird’s Nest Stadium during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, her performance last month was considered a major setback by many Nigerians considering Okagbare’s status in global athletics.
Her failure at the Beijing 2015 World Championship not withstanding, some Nigerians, especially lovers of athletics, were looking forward to seeing a ‘different’ Okagbare in the All Africa Games in Congo.
Secretary General of AFN, Olumide Bamiduro, told The Guardian on phone yesterday that Okagbare would not be part of the country’s athletics team to Congo.
The first batch of Team Nigeria’s contingent to Congo left Abuja on Monday, the same day the athletics team returned from IAAF World Championship in Beijing, where Nigeria failed to win any medal.
While in Beijing, Okagbare was said to have told officials of the AFN that they should not bother to include her name for the All Africa Games in Congo.
“Yes, she told us she won’t be available for the All Africa Games in Congo,” Bamiduro said yesterday. “I don’t know her whereabout at the moment because she did not travel with us from Beijing to Nigeria. I am sure she must have returned to her base in the United