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By Obi Martins Okafor.
It is unusual for Nigeria to have a gold medal hopeful, but this London Olympic Games, Nigeria presents two gold medal hopefuls, Chukwumerije and most promising Okagbare. The last time Nigeria won gold in a single sports was at the Olympic Games held in Atlanta U.S.A, where Chioma Ajunwa took to the podium for the winning the women’s long jump event. Ever since Nigeria’s closest was at the taekwondo event at the Beijing Games where Chika Chukwumerije picked up a bronze medal. Over the last couple of weeks, Blessing Okagbare has charted her personal best record, taken other renowned athletes to the cleaners and looks ready to go all the way at the London Games. Okagbare has sworn not to rest in her laurels, as winning the Gold medal will announce her as best female sprinter in the world. Okabgare has a bevy of US and Jamaican women who have run faster than her 10.96 seconds personal best, but she stated that her confidence has been boosted by her performance at the Monaco Diamond league. “My recent win in Monaco has boosted my confidence,” Okagbare said. “I think I’m ready to face the world. I’m just going to go out and do my best. I’m aiming for a top three overall. If I get the gold, I’ll take it. Whatever happens, I will accept my fate.” Okagbare is enjoying a burst of form and has demonstrated this by going under 11 seconds twice. She stated that she is not intimidated by the credentials of rivals like defending Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce of Jamaica, who has the world leading time of 10.70 seconds, Carmelita Jeter of the USA who has the second fastest time of 10.81, Veronica Campbell Brown and Allyson Felix who also are favourites in the Games. “You race with them from day to day. It’s not any different at the Olympic Games”, she said. With her recent form and record breaking sprints, Okpagbare seems bound to re ignite the London tracks again and subsequently winning a gold medal.  

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This article was first published on 25th July 2012 and updated on July 27th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

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