Minister of Sports and Chairman, National Sports Commission, NSC, Dr. Tammy Danagogo has hailed Africa’s fastest woman and Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare for her double medal effort at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai, China last Sunday.
The 2008 Olympics bronze medalist has by this feat set a meet record in both the long Jump and 200m where she leapt 6.86m and returned in a time of 22.36 seconds, beating Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas who returned in a time of 22.50 seconds to the second position.
Dr. Danagogo said that Okagbare’s efforts were commendable, stressing that the feat was a morale booster for the Delta-born athlete’s preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
“This is cheering news for the athletics family and Nigeria in general considering that preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games is on now. The result will further boost her morale to train harder for the Glasgow Games,” he said.
While urging Okagbare not to rest on her oars, the Minister said everything would be done to assist Okagbare and all other athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games to ensure that the country places well at the Games.
The Minister disclosed that many more Okagbares exist in the country, some of whom have been identified and would carry the country’s flag at the Africa Youth Games which begins in Gaborone, Botswana today (Wednesday) and would be nurtured to stardom like her.
“Nigeria is blessed with a lot of talents like Blessing and some of them already identified would be representing the country at the Africa Youth Games. We have put everything in place to ensure they win laurels for the country in Botswana,” he said, adding that “we will not stop there. They will be nurtured to stardom like Blessing”.