Things you never knew about Blessing Okagbare

 Over the years, Nigeria’s sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor has distinguished herself as a worthy sportswoman who has brought not only accolades but also honour to Nigeria.

But sadly, she been “provisionally” suspended for doping at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.

With the suspension, Okagbare will no longer be able to compete at the competition.

The Athletics Integrity Unit made this known in a press statement on Saturday, saying that the 32-year-old Nigerian athlete tested positive for a banned substance – human growth hormone.

The body said Okagbare tested positive for the prohibited substance in an out-of-competition test on July 19 – four days before the Olympics opened.

Here are few things to know about her:

1. Blessing Okagbare was born on October 9, 1988 in Delta State.

2. She played football as a teenager at her high school and later, in 2004, she took interest in track and field games.

3. On the senior national stage, she was a triple jump bronze medallist at the 2004 Nigerian National Sports Festival.

4. Her first international outing came at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where she performed in the qualifying rounds of both the long and triple jump competitions.

5. In May 2007, at the All-Africa Games trials in Lagos, she established a Nigerian record of 14.13 metres in the triple jump.

6. As a 19-year-old, she won a bronze medal in the women’s long jump event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

7. She scored a 100 m/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.

8. She concluded her 2011 season by winning three medals at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique. She was part of the Nigerian quartet that won gold in the 4 × 100 m with a time of 43.34.

9. She made it through to the finals of the 100m and won with a time of 10.85, breaking the games record of 10.91 seconds set by Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie 12 years earlier at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

10. On July 27, 2013, at the London Anniversary Games, Okagbare set a new African record of 10.86 s in her 100 m race.

11. The superstar athlete married her heartthrob, Nigerian footballer, Igho Otegheri in September 2014.

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