Minister Salutes Okagbare, Assures Nigerian Athletics Better Future

The Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi congratulates Blessing Okagbare for putting up another decent performance at the ongoing IAAF World Championship in Russia, winning a bronze medal in the 200metre race.

Okagbare had earlier won a silver medal in the long jump, the first medal Nigeria would win at any IAAF World Championship since 1999.

Nigeria is now placed 21st on the medal table, higher than countries such as Italy (23rd), Australia (29th) and Japan (29th).

Blessing came third in the very competitive 200m race, missing out on a silver medal to Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast by six thousandths of a second. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica won the race with a time of 22.17 seconds.

Abdullahi praised Blessing for her hard work, resilience and great attitude.

“She has got what it takes to be a world champion and I have no doubt that in time she is going to dominate the world in her disciplines.

“I congratulate her and the Nigerian team for breaking the 14 year jinx of not winning any medal at IAAF Championships. I believe that with the level of support we have received from Mr. President and the systems we are putting in place, Nigerians will see significant improvement in our performances athletics competitions and in sports generally.

“I wish Blessing and the rest of the team the very best in the remaining events,” he said.