After her impressive performance at IAAF Worlds in Moscow
The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, will host the new queen of track and field, Blessing Okagbare, this morning at the Aso Rock Villa.
A statement signed by Olukayode Thomas, Head of Communication Media Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) said the Presidential reception for Okagbare will be held during the council meeting.
Okagbare did Nigeria proud at the just concluded Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championship where she won two medals, a silver in the long jump and bronze in the 200m. She also made the final of the 100m.
President of the AFN, Evangelist Solomon Ogba, thanked President Jonathan for the honour and also thanked the Minister of Sports for always bringing Mr. President’s attention to achievements of track and field, and for being a Minister of Sports, instead of Minister of Football, as is often the case in Nigeria.
“The athletics family is grateful to President Jonathan; this is the third time he is hosting us. The President hosted us when we won the African Youth Championships, he hosted the Sydney 2000 team whose silver medal was upgraded to gold and now, he is hosting Okagbare. We are more than grateful.”
“We would not have been African champions at Youth, Junior and senior level without the support of Mallam Abdullahi. He was with us in Porto Novo when we won the African title, he was with us in Warri when we won the Youth title, he was with us in Moscow when we broke the 14-year no medal jinx at the IAAF World Championship, he attends our local Golden League and even the All Nigeria, he is the first Minister to give athletics priority and we are very grateful’’ said Ogba.
Okagbare opened her international medal account at the 2007 All-Africa Games when she won the silver medal in the long jump.
The following year, she won a bronze medal in the women’s long jump event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She went on to win the double in 100m and long jump double at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship for University of Texas at El Paso, completing an undefeated collegiate streak that year.
At the African championships in 2010, she won gold in the long jump and gold in the 100m and gold again in the 4x100m.
She won three medals at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.
In July 27, 2013, at the London Anniversary Games, Okagbare set a new African record of 10.79s in her 100m race. She won the final about an hour later, setting a new African record of 10.79, in a race where she beat reigning 100m Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
At the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, Okagbare won the silver medal in the long jump. She also placed third in the Women’s 200m race.