Olympic Silver medalist Blessing Okagbare’s has moved to dispel any suggestions that her disqualification from the women’s 100m on Day 1 of the athletics events at the ongoing 12th African Games was intentional.
The sprint queen who’s yet to win an individual gold medal in the 100m at the African Games got disqualified for a false start in Heat 1 of the women’s 100m semis.
The athlete had been embroiled in a dispute with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) over training grants for athletes for the Games and there were speculations that she might choose to skip the Games altogether.
And following her disqualification for a false start, Okagbare took to microblogging platform Twitter to dispel any suggestions that her actions were deliberate.
“I know my fans are disappointed and if you know me, you know I don’t just show up. I show up and I am also there,” she wrote.
“[Monday] didn’t go as planned but, lesson learned and gratitude given to God for my journey so far…”
Nigeria’s medals hopes in the women’s 100m which comes up today, Tuesday, 27 August now rests on Joy Udo-Gabriel who advanced to the final with a time of 11.47s and Aniekeme Alphonsus who placed fourth with 11.82 secs in the semi-finals’ heat 2 to make the final.
Alphonsus and Udo-Gabriel will contend the final against Ivorian favourite Marie Ta Lou, Kenya’s Maxmila Imali and Ngoye Natacha of Congo.
Gina Bass of The Gambia, Basant Hemida of Egypt and Tebogo Mamathu of South Africa complete the lineup for the women’s 100m final.