Athletics events of the 20th Commonwealth Games begin tomorrow with Nigerian athletes hoping to rise above challenges encountered on the way to Glasgow and post good performances.
Nigeria’s brightest chances are in the women 100m and 200m, 400m and relays. Blessing Okagbare is expected to defy the Caribbean onslaught and win her first Commonwealth Games medals in the sprints.
Her biggest rival, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce will not be on the blocks for the individual races. However, she and Okagbare will clash in the relays, where Nigeria is expected to win some medals in both men and women categories.
Speaking on their chances, sprinter Ogho-Oghene Egwero said they were ready to compete in Glasgow. Egwero was at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, where he and his colleagues were unable to win a medal.
Also showing sparks of enthusiasm and optimism was Patience Okon George. She is fresh from the IAAF World Relays in Bahamas where the Nigerian women won bronze in the women 4x400m.
“We will give it our best. Surely we didn’t come here to settle for another bronze we want the gold this time around,” Okon-George said. At the last Games in Delhi, Tosin Oke won gold in the triple jump; Husseine Ayuba won gold in the 100m para event, while Ajoke Odumosu won gold in women 400m hurdles and Chime Obeta silver in the 1500m para event.