Blessing Okagbare has won Nigeria’s first medal at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia. Okagbare, with her fifth jump of the final, leapt an impressive 6.99m which, however, was not enough to beat United States of America’s Brittany Reese, who recorded 7.01m with her second jump.
Okagbare in action at the Long Jump event in Birmingham, two weeks ago.
Blessing Okagbare, who is the country’s hope to win its first gold medal at the World Championships, became the first Nigerian and African woman to clock under 10.80 seconds in the women’s 100m dash when she smashed the African women’s 100m record twice on her way to victory at the London Anniversary Games two weeks ago.
Based on her recent achievements, Team Nigeria registered her for four events, including the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and the Long jump.
Okagbare had on June 30, won the 200m in the Birmingham Diamond League in 22.55 seconds. She also won the long jump event at IAAF Diamond League on July 5 in Lausanne, with 6.98 metres before crossing to Monaco IAAF Diamond League, where she recorded a personal best of 7.04m also in the long jump.
The last time the country’s name was listed on the medals table was back at the 1999 event in Seville, Spain when Gloria Alozie and
Francis Obikwelu won silver and bronze in their respective events, the women’s 100m hurdles and men’s 100m.
Both Alozie and Obikwelu, thereafter switched nationalities to Spain and Portugal respectively.
Okagbare will tomorrow attempt to win a second medal in Moscow when she competes in the women’s 100m final.