NIGERIAN veteran sprinter, Blessing Okagbare led Team Nigeria, to 1x400m gold medal with contributions from Tobi Amosun and 18-year- old Joy Udo-Gabriel and 17-year-old Rosemary Chukwuma.
Okagbare who did not participate in the 100 and 200 meters race, left some fans unhappy as they expected to see the sprinter perform on home soil, but unconfirmed report have it that she pulled out due to injury. A bandage-like material was even noticed on her leg after the race, but she wasted no time in leading team Nigeria to a gold medal which gave the fans something to be cheerful about.
However the gold medalist expressed concerns towards talent grooming as she urged sports administrators to increase their efforts in grooming and nurturing young talents in the country.
Okagbare spoke against the backdrop of the performance of some young athletes at the ongoing 2018 Africa Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta.
Okagbare insisted that the young athletes have so much to offer in the sport, if given the necessary support for them to excel.
She said: “We have a lot of young athletes in athletics with great potentials and they have so much more to offer.
“The country needs to pay more attention to the talents and groom them appropriately.
“One of the problems we had in the past was that we didn’t nurture and groom talents properly and that is where we lost it.
“So, they should try and focus on the people coming up and see what can happen in the future for us as a country.’
However one of the sprinters in the team, 17-year-old Rosemary Chukwuma who stated that her aim is to break Blessing Okagbare’s record and she is planning towards that.