The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has described Nigerian athletics Queen Blessing Okagbare as a real blessing for the country after she was honored last week by Guinness Book of Records. Okagbare was bestowed with an award for most appearances in the money-spinning World Athletics Diamond League achieved when she competed in the 100m event at the Weltklasse Diamond Leage meeting in Zurich,Switzerland in August 2018. The beautiful 2014 Commonwealth Games double sprint champion took to her social media handles on Wednesday after she was officially presented with the Guinness World Records Certificate. “A dream made reality through God’s grace and determination. Look what finally came in the mail…Thanks to the Guinness book of world records. I am indeed honored, proud and grateful,” she wrote on her handles. AFN Secretary General, Prince Adisa Beyioku says Okagbare has over the years continued to place Nigeria’s name on the map of the world for all the right reasons. ‘The board of the AFN is delighted with the formal presentation of the Guinness World Record certificate for most appearances (67) to our own Blessing Okagbare. She is one of our biggest ambassadors in the sport and has won several medals for Nigeria since 2007 when she won a silver medal in the long jump (6.46m) event at the African Games in Algiers,’said Beyioku in a statement. The AFN chronicled Okagbare’s incredible achievements and records set in her over a decade storied career on the track to include the 100m/200m gold she won at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,Scotland to become the second Nigerian woman after Mary Onyali to achieve the feat. ‘She has scored a number of firsts for Nigeria and Africa on both the track and the pits.For the records Blessing is the first Nigerian woman to hit the 14m mark in the women’s triple jump (14.13m),the first (and only one so far) to run a sub-10.9 and sub-10.8 seconds in the 100m and the only Nigerian athlete,man or woman to win two individual medals at World Athletics’ flagship event,the World Championship courtesy of her silver in the long jump and bronze in the 200m at the Moscow World Championships in 2013.’’ Currently Africa’s record holder (22.04 seconds) in the 200m,Okagbare is one of only three Nigerian women to hit the 7m mark in the long jump. ‘The AFN is happy to announce that Okagbare has extended the record for most appearances in the competition to 74 after competing in seven more races in the 2019 edition,winning the 100m in Rabat,Morocco in 11.05 seconds and the 200m at the Prefontaine Classics in Eughene,Oregon,USA in 22.05 seconds to bring her total wins in the competition to 14.She made her debut in the competition on July 3,2010 at the Prefontaine Classic,running 11.04 seconds to place fourth in the 100m and won her first of 14 events in July 2012 when she ran 10.96 seconds to win the 100m race at the Monaco leg of the meeting,’wrote the AFN Secretary General in the statement.
Weightlifting: Ejiogu , Nwadei join race for IWF job
Two Nigerian weightlifting buffs have joined the race to be on the board of world weightlifting governing body, IWF. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in a release made available to newstap.com.ng listed the duo of Chimdi Ejiogu and Christopher Nwadei as provisional candidates for the IWF election billed for next month. While Ejiogu, the Vice President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF ) is gunning to be on the Executive Board of IWF, Nwadei on his part is eyeing membership of the technical committee. Meanwhile, the world weightlifting body has assured that she is doing everything possible to address all the concerns raised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ahead of the election. The IWF in her press release stated…”The IWF Executive Board met on 5 February to address concerns expressed by the IOC and has approved a number of key actions, including the adoption of eligibility criteria aimed at ensuring high standards of governance for the forthcoming IWF elections. The meeting was attended by the Director of the IOC Sports Department Mr. Kit McConnell and an extended delegation from the IWF Athletes Commission. “The IOC has made its concerns perfectly clear in a number of key areas, including anti-doping rules, athlete representation and the electoral process” said IWF Interim President Dr. Michael Irani. “The IWF Executive Board has acted on these points, in order to help deliver the comprehensive changes we are committed to making in an ambitious timeframe and safeguard the Olympic future of weightlifting. The actions we have taken and are taking will help protect clean weightlifters and add credibility to our anti-doping work. They will ensure the athlete’s voice is given legal backing without delay. And they will ensure a high standard of governance is applied with regard to the eligibility of candidates standing for election to the IWF’s governing bodies,” added Dr Irani. On anti-doping rules, the IWF has requested the IWF Anti-Doping Commission and ITA to review the current rules together, with the aim of submitting a revised and independently-created version to the IWF Executive Board for approval. Consistency between the anti-doping rules and the Tokyo Olympic qualifying system will be a key priority. On athlete representation, the IWF is working to prepare a proposal to cover the specific point of athlete representation. The proposal will be made to the forthcoming IWF Electoral Congress to ensure a sound legal footing for Athletes Commission voting on the IWF Executive Board without delay, especially in the critical period prior to and during the adoption of constitutional reform. On applying new and improved standards of governance to the forthcoming elections, as previously announced, the IWF Executive Board strongly supported a proposal for interim rules made by the independent Ethics and Disciplinary Commission. Eligibility checks will be applied to all candidates based on comprehensive criteria.”
NPFL: Commissioner, Deputy Speaker told to hands off Heartland FC
S outh East Coordinator of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Hon.Eric Ihemtuge has advised the Imo state Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development Dan Ogu and the Deputy Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Hon. Chyna Amarachi Iwuanyanwu to hands off the running of Heartland FC of Owerri. Speaking with the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN, Imo State chapter in Owerri, Ihemtuge advised them to allow the General Manager of the club, Ifeanyi Chukwudi to do the job for which he was appointed. He reminded the duo that their job as top officials of the government in power is purely to advise the management of the club on how to move the team to the next level and not to take over the day to day running of the club. He called on the Governor of Imo State Sen. Hope Uzodimma to as a matter of urgency call his men who had usurped the job of the club’s GM to order. He pointing out that sports, especially club management is purely a professional sector that requires knowledgeable persons who understand the dynamics of the game to handle. “Football management is not politics and this is what those hijacking the club must realize and the governor needs to be put in the picture of what is happening and call his men to order,” Ihemtuge said. A patron of SWAN, Ihemtuge condemned in strong term what he described as “undue interference” in the day to day running of the club by government officials which according to him has continued to negatively affect the club. He also beckoned on Governor Hope Uzodimma to urgently look into the other problems bedevling the club with a view to resolving the matters, even as he charged Imo sportswriters to keep doing their bit in the effort to make Imo sports better.