Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare, has finally bared her mind after her unfortunate disqualification in the 100m Women’s semi-final race at the ongoing African Games in Morocco.
Okagbare was widely tipped to give the eventual winner Marie Jose Ta Lou a run for her money in the women’s 100m race but that was never to be as she beat the gun in the semis and was effectively disqualified.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES in Morocco on the unfortunate incident, Okagbare dispelled shocking insinuations in some quarters that she intentionally chose to beat the gun so she could be excused from the race.
“I wanted to really race because I needed the race. I had to cancel by Paris Diamond League race because I knew I was going to do three rounds here. But what happened has happened.
“I don’t have a series of false start in my career… even in the first round, I had that long hold from the starter but I so much anticipated the gun but my coach said I have to react and get out fast.
“So I was actually out to execute my race but whatever happened has happened. It was still a surprise for me but as a professional athlete, I have to shake it off. I know, I still have a lot of races ahead of me, so it is what it is.”
On whether she would still partake in any other event at the African Games, Okagbare revealed she is done and heading for Zurich for the final leg of the IAAF Diamond League.
“Actually, I was supposed to just do the 100m, if the relay was early then I would do the qualifiers which I ran in today
“Before now, they (team officials) knew I was going to Zurich for the diamond league, so my coming here was just for the 100m because I needed the race since the world championships is just around the corner,” she told PREMIUM TIMES.