Long jumper, Stanley Gbagbeke is in a race to be fit for the African Championships and Commonwealth Games after going down with a groin injury.
The US-based Gbagbeke is the only Nigerian jumper to have cracked the 8 metre barrier after almost two decades of poor showing by Nigerian jumpers who failed to break Yusuf Alliâ€™s 1987 mark of 8.27m. Gbagbake made 8.07m last season,Â with lots of potentials to lower Alliâ€™s long standing record in the shortest time, but sadly he has to battle with injuries.
Last year at the World Championships trials, Gbagbeke jumped through pain as he struggled with an ankle injury and this year, he began on a goodÂ note with some heart warming performances at the NCAA meets only to come down with a groin in March.
â€œI suffered a groin injury. But I hopefully would be fit before the Commonwealth Games,â€ said the athlete in a chat.
Reacting to the development, Athletics Federation of Nigeria president, Solomon Ogba expressed hope that the athlete will regain full fitness to compete with the likes Geoffrey Khotso Mokoena of South Africa and Ghanaâ€™s Ignisious Gaisah who will be major obstacle at the African Championships and Commonwealth Games.
â€œAt the moment Gbagbeke is down. He is our best hope for a medal in the long jump, we canâ€™t afford not having him fit.â€