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Nigeria’s medals hope dims in Beijing, as injury stops Okagbare in 200m




Team Nigeria’s hope of getting medals at the ongoing IAAF World Athletics Championship in Beijing, China, may have finally dimmed, as the country’s major hope, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor was forced to pull oput of the 200m race yesterday due to an hamstring injury.

After her failure in the 100m final on Monday, Okagbare’s hope for medal shifted to the 200m event, which began yesterday, but she was said to have developed hamstring injury during warm up, thereby dropping out from the heats.

Okagbare who went for surgery shortly before the All Nigeria Athletics Championships held in Warri, Delta State, was certified fit for the World Championships, but an official of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) told The Guardian from Beijing yesterday that her injury may have re-occurred due to ‘series of rounds’ she did in the 100m.

Team Nigeria head coach Gabriel Okon said: “Blessing was focus on the doing well in the 200m. Her warm up was okay but she developed hamstring injury.

After examination of the injury by the medical team, she was advised to rest the leg as running with the injury could aggravate it,” Okon said.

Meanwhile, the Usain Bolt v Justin Gatlin re-match is on after both men dominated their semi-finals to charge into today’s 200m final. Bolt, looking to retain his other individual sprint title after that extraordinary 100m victory here in the Bird’s Nest, looked to be saving his strength for the next showdown as he eased off in 19.95 seconds.

Gatlin, comfortably the fastest man in the world this year over 200m, as he was over 100m, ran a controlled 19.87 as he seeks revenge for his shock defeat on Sunday night.

Britain’s youngster Zharnel Hughes, who trains with Bolt in Jamaica, remains a shot for the podium as he won the first of the three semi-finals in 20.14.

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