Nigeria’s sprint queen and Beijing Olympics Long Jump bronze medallist, Blessing Okagbare has made a damming claim of neglect by the country’s administrators, labelling the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) ‘a big shame’.
Whilst the thinking among the media and public was that Okagbare gets better attention from the AFN than her other colleagues, the University of El-Paso graduate told journalists after her historical 100m victory at the All-Nigeria/Cross River State Athletics championships in Calabar that she’s pursuing her ambition of being a champion with or without the support of the relevant bodies.
Okagbare said: “They have not done anything to support us and that is a shame, they are a big shame. They know what they have to do, we don’t need to keep talking.
“For me I have started training since December and my country have not come to ask me what do you need to get to Moscow, maybe they don’t want me to go to Moscow, but I am preparing myself with or without them and my goal is to be the champion,” she added.
Okagbare coasted home to a time of 11.25 seconds to win her fifth consecutive 100m title on Wednesday at the UJ Esuene Stadium.
On her preparation for the upcoming IAAF World Athletics Championship in Moscow after the disappointment of the last London Olympics, Okagbare said she has been working and presently rearing to go in Moscow.
“I have been working on every area of my race since I came back from London.
“I have done the work and I am still working, all I need is the mental preparation and I hope to do well at the Moscow championship. My goal is to be the champion,” she said.