Monday, 12 August 2013

Okagbare jumps to silver, ends Nigeria’s 14-years medal drought

24-Year-old Blessing Okagbare has won Nigeria’s first medal in Moscow as she leaped 6.99 metres to clinch the silver medal in the long jump event final. The Sapele-born athlete qualified for the final of the Women’s long jump event at the on-going IAAF World Championship in Moscow with a jump of 6.83m, placing second in the qualification behind Great Britain’s Shara Proctor who jumped a distance of 6.85m in her first attempt to automatically qualify for the final.

The minimum qualification requirement was 6.75m or at least the 12 best performances. Blessing Okagbare, who is the country’s hope to win its first gold medal at the World Athletic in Moscow, became the first Nigerian and African woman to duck under 10.80 seconds in the women’s 100m dash when she smashed the African women’s 100m record twice on her way to victory at the London Anniversary Games two weeks ago. Her performance on the track this season has given Nigerians hope of medals in the world championship.

Okagbare’s silver earned her $30, 000 from the IAAF.  Reese pocketed $60, 000 for her gold-medal win.

Based on her achievements lately, Team Nigeria registered Okagbare for four events, including the Long jump, 4x100m relay, 200m and 100m. Okagbare had on June 30, won the 200m in the Birmingham Diamond League in 22.55 seconds. She also won the long jump event at IAAF Diamond League on July 5 in Lausanne, with 6.98 metres before crossing to Monaco IAAF Diamond League, where she recorded a personal best of 7.04m also in the long jump.

Nigeria last won a medal at the Athletic World Championship in 1999, a drought Blessing Okagbare has ended with her victory

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