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Published On: Thu, Sep 3rd, 2015

World Athletic Champonship: Okagbare Crashes Out Under Pressure, Not Injury-Urhobo

Okagbare

Okagbare


LAGOS SEPTEMBER 3RD (URHOBOTODAY)-Former President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and one of the nation’s athletics coach, Toni Urhobo, has removed the shock from the ill-prepared and not organised claim of injury to Blessing Okagbare at the 200metres event of the World championship as diversionary.
Urhobo who had led the nation to previous world championship as a coach quipped that, rather Okagbare bowed to pressure of competing at the big stage against a star studded field of leading lasses than the claim of injury putting paid to the alibi the AFN dropped.

Okagbare despite running one of the fastest times in the season, failed to measure up in the women 100metres where she came 8th in the race won by Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce of Jamaica. Okagbare who vowed to bounce back in the 200m, made a no show and caused a furore. Her absence in the 4x100metres was equally not well managed by the sloppy federation officials causing further disruptions.
“It wasn’t injury that made Okagbare crash out. She crackled under pressure,” Urhobo argued
Speaking from experience, the coach submitted that “running in the grand prix is totally different from competing in the world championships or the Olympics. The grand prix where she has been making good times is a one-day event, unlike the world championships; they are gruesome and you have to go through the rounds, you need a special kind of training to be able to cope with the pressure.
“If she was injured, why were the members of the women 4x100metres expecting her to compete until the very morning of their heats? Urhobo queried.
“We are waiting to see whether she will compete at the All Africa Games. That’s where she feels more comfortable, whereas other African big acts don’t come there with their stars; they rather use the Games as a launching pad for their young, emerging stars.”
He said that coaches that were at Beijing 2015 have no credential and technical ability to uplift the team.
“Our coaches were not up to it in Beijing. The federation does not want to go for quality; we have capable hands like me who are ready to assist at a price. But they still prefer to beat around the bush.
“Look at the women 4x400metres. They did their best in the heats only to fade out in the final; it boils down to coaching,” said the veteran coach.

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