Blessing Okagbare won the Long Jump event in the Monaco leg of the Diamond League at the weekend and called Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to say “I’m approaching our target and God willing we’ll get there. I dedicate this to you, sir”
The sports loving governor has been supporting Blessing and many other Nigerian athletes. He sponsors Blessing’s training at home and abroad. Blessing has promised Uduaghan a medal at World Championships or the Olympics. And that’s probably the target she meant when she called the Governor after her feat on Friday night.
The High Jump was one of three outstanding women’s field events in Monaco The opening Diamond League event of the evening, the women’s Long Jump, turned into a competition of the highest quality as Russia’s European indoor champion Darya Klishina produced a second-round leap of 6.98m, just seven centimetres off her personal best, only to see Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare outdo her with successive seven-metre jumps.
Okagbare, who had warmed up with 6.86m for a first-round lead, produced a wind-assisted 7.04m (2.1m/s) in round two and followed up with a third-round PB of 7.00m (0.0m/s).
Klishina, jumping consistently well, managed a fifth round of 6.90m but could not do anything to prevent the Nigerian taking maximum points to join Brittney Reese, the US Olympic champion, at the top of the Diamond Race standings with 10 points.
Okagbare also moved up to third place in this year’s world listings behind Reese’s winning effort of 7.25m at the opening IAAF Diamond League event of the season in Doha.
Britain’s Shara Proctor managed 6.74m to take third place and move into third place in the Diamond Race with nine points.
Afterwards, Okagbare commented: “I would say nine out of ten. It’s a PB for me. My fourth and fifth jumps were better but I fouled them. My seven metres jump was far from perfect, and we’re working on a lot of different things.”
Meanwhile, wrestlers for the E K Clark Wrestling Championships in Warri have commended the facilities they are using at the Brownhill Events Centre which they have described as first class.
“As the wrestling is taking place the bouts are on large screens all over the place. It’s beautiful here,” one of the wrestlers from 27 states participating said.