After pulling out of the 100m and 200m events, Blessing Okagbare was in action on the Day 3 of action at the ongoing African Senior Athletics Championships. She made her presence count, helping Nigeria to a gold medal in the 4x100m women’s event.
The gold medal-winning quartet for Nigeria had youngster Joy Udo-Gabriel starting off in grand style before Okagbare took the second leg and handed nicely to Tobi Amusan and Rosemary Chukwuma held her own to give Nigeria a precious gold medal ahead of the Ivorian quartet led by Ahuriele Ta Lou.
The Nigerian ladies posted an impressive time of 43.77secs.
“ We thank God almighty for our team winning the gold, this is a collective effort, we all put in our best to give Nigeria gold and we are happy we delivered,” Okagbare told journalists after the race
In the men’s 4x100m, Nigeria with a time of 38.74sec settled for second place behind South Africa who so far are dominating the proceedings in Asaba.
There was more celebration for Nigeria in the field events with home girl Ese Brume leaping to gold with 6.83m.
In the Women’s Discuss, Onyekwere Chioma got gold with a throw of 58.09 while her compatriot Okoro Chinwe got silver with her throw of 57.37.
Meanwhile, African athletes competing at the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship have expressed delight at the electric atmosphere inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium since the competition began on Wednesday.
As promised by the Local Organsing Committee Chairman, Solomon Ogba, there has been a huge turnout of fans at the stadium since Day 1 and the African stars on parade have given thumbs up to the Asaba fans.
Africa’s fastest man at the moment, Akanni Simbine, who won the 100m event said it was not only a delight to win the gold medal but to also be in Nigeria.
Simbine described Nigeria as a sports-loving country, owing to the level of interest shown by the people since the commencement of the ongoing 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta.
He said: “If Nigeria can start preparations on time by putting good logistics in place and doing all the necessary things, they can host the rest of the world in athletics.
“The fans here are wonderful and very cheerful, which is also part of the glamour of major athletics meets in the world. So, if Nigeria can get the other things right, they can host the world,” he suggested.
Caster Semenya who won the gold medal in the 400m Women’s event also hailed the high spirits of Delta State fans that have been thronging the Stephen Keshi stadium in large numbers since Wednesday.