Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2013

I’ll Put Smile on Uduaghan’s Face- Okagbare

Blessing Okagbare

LAGOS JUNE 24TH (URHOBOTODAY) Blessing Okagbare has remained among the top ten athletes in the world for more than two years now.
After winning a Long Jump bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, she focused more in the 100m at the London Olympics, a development which technocrats faulted and blamed it on her managers on the grounds that she had greater potential to do better in the Long Jump if she was better guided.

And with the World Championships taking place this August in Rus sia, with the Olympic Games barely three years away, Blessing is still on track as a medal potential. She has run a wind assisted 10.75 in Oregon this year and jumped 7.14 m in the Long Jump in Doha, Qatar. That would have been an African record if it was not also wind-aided.
‘’Someday, I’ll put a smile on the face of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the governor of Delta State.
That is my prayer and I’m working towards it,” Blessing said yesterday, just after reigning as queen of the tracks for the third consecutive year. She ran 11.25 to win the Cross River/AFN World Championship trials in Calabar last week. Her outing was part of her World Championship preparation which she said she started last November, few months after the London Olympics.
‘’When I qualified for the 100m final in London, everybody banked on me to win a medal. It didn’t happen and many people saw me as a failure. But the Governor of Delta State did not see me as one.
He called me to encourage me and told me that I was one of the best in the world. He has been very fatherly to me. He is a great mentor and motivator and I want to repeat here that my prayer is to put a smile on his face some day with a medal.”
Blessing wished that the Federal Government could do more for sports in the country.
‘’We have the potential to do well but we need more in terms of planning and support from the Federal Government. Without people like Governor Uduaghan, the AFN President, Chief Ogba and Amaju Pinnick, it is possible that one would have dropped out of track and field.
When I dedicate anything I win to Dr. Uduaghan I know why I do so. Here’s a governor who takes interest in your training, nutrition, coaching and general welfare. And it is not only me. He does that to some athletes too.
He is the pillar of our sports in Nigeria now. He has given me training grants and has been good to sports generally and I wish others could emulate him for Nigeria to become world beaters.”
Head of sports in Delta, Pinnick said that they would continue to support athletes.
Source: Vanguard

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