Sprint star, Blessing Okagbare has declared that Nigeria owes her a lot following the countless accolades she has brought to the country at international events.
Okagbare is seen as a pampered athlete by many of her contemporaries and her outburst here at the Cross River/ All Nigeria Championships came as rude shock to athletes and observers alike.
“Nigeria is not doing much for me. All I have been doing since becoming an international athlete has been by my personal effort. “As the world championships is coming up, I am not expecting anything from the country,” said the athlete.
However, athletics officials reasoned that the Delta-born athlete had no reason to complain as she has been well taken care of, much to the envy of other Nigerian athletes.
“If Nigeria is not taking care of her, we have Nigerians who are taking care of her needs.
“She should have been more tactful with her comments. If not for the efforts of certain individuals who supported her, she wouldn’t be where she is today. There are many others who, if given the same opportunity, will even do better than she is doing,” said an athletics official at the U.J Esuene Stadium, venue of the championships which ended yesterday.
Okagbare is aiming to win her first gold medal at the world championships. Her only recognizable medal so far, is the bronze she won in the long jump at the Beijing 2008 Olympics.
She failed to qualify for the final of the same event at last year’s Olympics. However, she has shown good running form this season.