By Aderonke Ojediran
Lagos, June 17, 2021 (NAN) Blessing Okagbare on Thursday set a new national record at the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Olympic Trials.
The Olympics trial is ongoing at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State.
The duo of Okagbare and Enoch Adegoke set a new time of 10.62 and 9.97 sec., respectively, to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Okagbare personal best of 10.79 in 100m was set in 2013 at Africa Senior Championship.
Okagbare in her interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that having a new coach has helped her stay fit after years of injury.
“It’s been a long time coming for me, having to go through series of injuries for five years, and I got this beautiful time few weeks to the Olympic Games .
“God, my coach and my team were helpful. Since I changed my coach, things changed, he kept pushing me to be better and I’m glad at the result, this has boost my confidence.
“I want to give my best as I’ve always done, I want to motivate youngsters that you don’t give up no matter what,” Okagbare said.
Okagbare’s qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Games will be her fourth participation in the Olympic.
“This is the first time I am running this fast in front of my people, usually I’m faster when I’m running outside.
“I do not underestimate these fantastic athletes, if these girls beat me, it will be on record, I just focus on myself and my lane,” she said.
On his part, Adegoke told NAN that having to finish at such an impressive time will further boost his confidence at the Olympics.
“It’s hard to express myself, I can’t find the right words, I am elated, this is a time I have always worked and prayed for.
“I just believe in God and I have been training hard, I am grateful that the Minister adopted me, and it has helped me tremendously.
“As an athlete not thinking about money to finance my training gave me a good balance, I am thankful to God and the Honorable Minister, Sunday Dare,” he said.
Adegoke personal best in 100m was 10.12 set in Lagos in 2019, and 21.07 in the 200m set in Abidjan in 2019.
Seye Ogunlewe failed to qualify for the Olympic Games after finishing fourth at the qualifiers.