Africa’s fastest woman, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, is now expected to take part in the track and field events at the ongoing All Africa Games in Congo.
But the 27-year-old will only be limited to taking part in the relay at the games owing to the hamstring injury she is still nursing.
She revealed that her doctor has given her the green light to take part in just the relay at the games in order not to aggravate the injury.
Okagbare-Ighoteguonor took time to explain why she took part at the Diamond League in Zurich despite her injury issues.
“Unfortunately I will be doing just the relay. It (hamstring injury) is not that great but it is rather safe than sorry. Right now the only thing the hamstring can handle right now is just one or two races; just the semis and final in the relays. I am pretty sure I can take a risk and handle that. If I have to do an individual event, I wouldn’t want to put anybody in a tight corner and at the end something happens, then they will like say ‘oh she was not supposed to be there, this and that, and now she’s hurt.’ So I should rather want to be safe than sorry that’s why I am just doing the relay.
“I was able to race in Zurich not like I was capable because it was one race and I was able to surprise myself. But after the race, I knew what I felt because just sitting down with the pain. I have rested for a few days, so I have been told to just take off and see what will happen and if it’s not healing properly we will have to send you out to Germany for treatment so that the leg will be properly taken care of. But for now like I said, since I have to be in Congo and I have spoken to them and they say it’s not so good so I have been told to give the relay a shot,” said Okagbare-Ighoteguonor to Brila FM.
However, the sprinter and long jumper said she is delighted to represent her country always but feels pained that her appearance will be limited to just the relay this year.
“The African Games is not what happens every month or year, it’s just like the Olympics. That’s when you get to see every African contingent together. So it’s fun because people you’ve heard about but haven’t seen you have the opportunity to see them and chat with them. But this year is really different for me because I don’t really like going to a competition and just do one event. I really want to compete for everything. Unfortunately it is just the relay I would have done more if I was healthy enough but I will just have to accept my fate for now,” said the Olympic bronze medallist.
Okagbare-Ighoteguonor in spite of being narrowed to just the relay left a parting shot with a promise of gold.
“As much as I can, I will do my best to get a gold medal in the relay for Nigeria,” she assured.
The Nigerian athlete will not be defending her long jump gold medal at the games she won four years in Mozambique where she also won silver in the women’s 100 metres and gold in the women’s 4×100 metres.
This development has now put to rest recent reports of a ban on the athlete from the 2016 Olympics.

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