By Toby Prince
After winning two medals, a silver in the (long jump) and a bronze in the 200m at the last edition of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia two years ago, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, will this weekend at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing begin her quest for a gold medal, a feat no Nigerian athlete, male or female has ever achieved.
She will be leading Team Nigeria’s quest for medals at the competition which runs from August 22 to 30.
Interestingly, it was at the same stadium, a rookie Okagbare earned an Olympic long jump bronze medal in her very first outing at the Games held in 2008.
Sadly, the African queen of the track would not be competing in the jumps when the events begin on Sunday, as she opted for 100m, 200m and the 4x100m at this edition.
Aside Okagbare, a total of 21 other athletes will be competing in Beijing, 17 female and five male athletes according to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).
Some of the other athletes that would participate at the World Championships are Gloria Asumnu, who won the 100 women’s event at the national trials in the absence of Okagbare, Cecilia Francis, Stephanie Kalu, Deborah Odeyemi and Ngozi Onwumere.
Others are Uhunoma Osazuwa, who set a new national record in heptathlon last month in Warri, Ogho-Oghene Egwero and Ukaoma Miles among others.