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NSC bans Okagbare-Ighoteguonor from Rio 2016 Olympics




The National Sports Commission (NSC) has banned African and Commonwealth 100 and 200 metres champion, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This is the fall-out of her refusal to run for Nigeria in the 200m event at the just concluded IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China, as well as opting out of Team Nigeria to the ongoing All Africa Games in Congo.

Okagbare’s problem may have started when she competed in the money spinning Diamond League in Zurich, Switzerland, last Thursday, a few days after she failed to show up for the 200m event in Beijing, despite appearing in the warm up area. She claimed she was injured.

Speaking with The Guardian at the weekend, Director General of the NSC, Al Hassan Yakmut, said Okagbare had shown so much disrespect for the nation.

“I was shocked when I saw Okagbare competing in the Diamond League in Zurich last Thursday,” Yakmut said. “I was wondering if it was the same Okagbare who refused to compete for Nigeria in the 200m event at the IAAF World Championship in Beijing, China. She even opted out of Team Nigeria for the All Africa Games in Congo. Why?

“I have said it times without number that any athlete who feels too big to compete for Nigeria in the All Africa Games should not bother about the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. No athlete is bigger than Nigeria. I played volleyball for this country, so there is nothing an athlete will tell me about sports.

“Tell me what countries like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa is doing for their athletes that Nigeria is not doing? If there is a problem, we should sit down to iron it out, instead of rubbishing our country before the international community. We have to take a stand to save our nation from athletes who feel they are untouchable,” an angry Yakmut said.

It would be recalled that Okagbare, who was Team Nigeria’s medal hope at the IAAF Championship in Beijing, finished last in the 100m final, and also failed to show up for the 200m event four days later. She raced in last Thursday’s Diamond League in Zurich, clocking 10.98 seconds to finish second behind Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.93 seconds.

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  • chibyke

    because u Nigeria leaders are disappointment to humanity in all fields of endevour that is why Okagbere is opting out Leave her alone the lady is good at what she does period!

    • rachel

      yes she is good but look at her now pride will kill you and that is what is happening to her they cannot beat back jamaica at all the athletes respect their country no matter what. i was looking for a better performance from her at beijing she is one i was looking for to give some competition in the 100m but nothing and to make matters worst she choose one of the biggest sporting event to fail stupes

  • Ayi Ekpenyong

    She had no moral justification to withdraw from the squad. Pride is killing our country. Okagbere is d likes of Mikel obi

  • Sonia Chinwendum

    Wao, if she has no genuine reason for her behavior, then it’s pride and should be disciplined. But if there’s something that’s bordering her, then let it be ironed out amicably. Not representing the country is a kind of disrespect before other countries

  • Fred A E

    Was this Lady under any oath to perform? when our Government and its institutions under every oath still disappoints the masses since from time Nigeria till date. My opinion, leave her alone. Instill discipline to yourselves and every body will fall in line.