Apparently unhappy with reactions that have trailed her failure to participate in the women’s 200 metres competition of the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, Blessing Okagbare has lashed out at her supposed critics accusing them of insinuating that she had tested positive to doping. After finishing eight in Monday’s 100m final, not a few Nigerians hoped Okagbare would compensate for the disappointing outing by medalling in the 200m, but the Commonwealth champion failed to show up for her race with organisers putting DNS (did not show) in front of her name on the starting list of Heat 3.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) had subsequently released a statement revealing that she was injured during the pre-race warm-up. “A hamstring injury during warm up on Wednesday prevented Blessing Okagbare from participating in the heats of the 200m,” the statement read. However, writing on her facebook page yesterday, Okagbare, who thanked her well wishers for their concern, accused some unidentified journalists of publishing negative stories about her.
She wrote: “Hi everyone, I really want to thank and appreciate my family, friends and true fans for all the love, support, calls, messages and emails from you guys. You have all made the last worst 3 days of my career the best ever. “From the bottom of my heart, I am extremely grateful. “As for the snakes blowing the trumpet and wishing I have tested positive on drugs, keep wishing on your own downfall because, I am so more than what a foolish journalist, critics, haters and those who call me Warri instead of Nigeria, when I don’t win, is made of. “I am self motivated, confident and work hard, which I am extremely proud of and, I owe no one an explanation win or loose.
“Not everyone, who opens their mouth to talk or write with a pen in the name of journalism, have their sanity intact and they know themselves.” In a related development, former Africa’s fastest man, Oluseyi Fasuba, urged Okagbare’s critics to desist from such act, as she doesn’t deserve it. “People that say Blessing Okagbare Ighoteguonor (Mfr) is a flop should refrain from using such words. Instead, they should ask themselves, what have they themselves ever achieved in life on the world stage or even in Nigeria. “She is a blessing to Nigeria in the time when athletics is at its weakest and journalist should celebrate her as she did get into the finals and is among the top 8 in the world,” Fasuba said.