Nigeria’s Olympic Medalist Blessing Okagbare has given reason why she opted out of the 100m and 200m events at the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships that just ended in Asaba, Delta State.
She said in Asaba that her opting out of these events was due to injury concerns, saying that she ran the 4x100m event even with injury. Nigeria has won 5 gold medals in both track and field events at the championships.
She said that she ran with pains in order to make Nigerians happy as they expected her to participate in the Women’s 100 and 200 meters event.
According to her, “I had injuries; I have been trying as my running here has been 50/50 but I waited to know how I would feel. Not participating was one of the most difficult decisions that I had to make as these Championships actually means a lot to me and my state.
“The relay is like a team effort, so the team went out there, worked with each other and trusts each other that we can win. There are certain things I cannot control; it took me the morning of the race to actually tell them I couldn’t run,” she said.
According to her, the success of the Nigerian team was a result of sustaining the team that was involved in the same event at the Commonwealth Games.
“We didn’t have to think too much, the only thing we did was that we changed our steps. Though the form we were on was different in that Games was different from this, so we had to change our steps and trusted each other.”
She said that she ran at her strongest spot which made it easy for her to close the gap between herself and the next runner.
“I love doing the second leg as it is important to me as it gives me enough time to run and get the job done.”