The hopes of Nigeria winning a medal in the individual events suffered a huge blow on Wednesday when Blessing Okagbare did not show up for the women’s 200m of the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China. The situation has left many confused. Gabriel Okon, who is the head coach of Team Nigeria in Beijing, said Okagbare copped a hamstring in her warm-up and had to withdraw from the race but some other sources in China suggest she was not prepared for the race. As of Wednesday morning, Okagbare was still listed in the start list of heat three, but she failed to show up for the race eventually.
However, the Athletic Federation of Nigeria released a statement on Wednesday explaining that the 26-year-old got injured during the warm-up before the race. “A hamstring injury during warm-up on Wednesday prevented Blessing Okagbare from participating in the heats of the 200m,” the statement read. “Okagbare, who went for surgery shortly before the All Nigeria Athletics Championships held in Warri, Delta State, was certified fit for the World Championships. The injury probably recurred because of the rounds she did in the 100m.” The statement, however, expressed the Team Nigeria’s optimism that she will be fit in time to compete in the women’s 4x100m relay, which will hold on Saturday. Okon, said, “Blessing was focused on doing well in the 200m; her warm up was okay but she developed a hamstring injury. “After examination of the injury by the medical team, she was advised to rest the leg as running with the injury could aggravate it before her participation in the relays and All-AfricanGames. I can confirm that Blessing will be okay before the relays start.” – Punch.