Many expected to see Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare compete in the women’s 200m, which was perceived as a redemption race for the Commonwealth champion, but surprisingly, she did not start despite being registered for the event at the ongoing World Championships in Beijing.

As at Wednesday morning, Okagbare was still listed in the startlist of Heat 3, but did not show up for the race eventually. However, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has released a statement to that effect, adding that she got injured during the pre-race warm-up.

“A hamstring injury during warm up on Wednesday prevented Blessing Okagbare from participating in the heats of the 200m. 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 re-occurred because of rounds she did in the 100m”, a statement from the AFN read.

However, the Nigerian camp remains optimistic that she will be fit in time to compete in the women’s 4x100m relay taking place on Saturday, August 29th. Team Nigeria Head Coach Gabriel Okon added:

“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-African Games. I can confirm that Blessing will be okay before the relays start.”


Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.



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