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Tokyo 2020: Okagbare leads Team Nigeria’s quest for track and field medals

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Nigerian gold medallists Tobi Amusan, Blessing Okagbare, Joy Udo-Gabriel and Rosemary Chukwuma celebrate after winning the women’s 4x100m relay during the 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba. Photo: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP.

…As team moves into Olympic Village today

Blessing Okagbare’s experience and bright performances will be a tonic to the track and field athletes of Team Nigeria when they begin competing from Friday July 30th.

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Alongside Okagbare are eleven other athletes, namely Oluwatobi Amusan, Ese Brume, Divine Oduduru, Grace Nwokocha, Chukwuebuka Enewechi, Enoch Adegoke, Usheoritse Itshekiri, Patience Okon-George, Imaobong Uko and Emmanuel Ojeli.

Favour Ofili and Ruth Usoro, both US based collegiate athletes, who came into the Nigerian Olympics radar late in the qualifiers, have completed two of the three mandatory out of competition tests, OCT, required and are awaiting final clearance.

Ten Nigerian athletes, most of whom are alternates who have not fulfilled the three mandatory OCT tests required, are in the process of taking their tests.

They must take the final tests one day before competition. The process to get them tested has since been activated by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria.

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Members of the athletics team have moved into the Olympic Village from their training camp in Kizarazu and will be in action from Day-one of competition with Okagbare leading Nwokocha into the women’s 100m heats.

The mixed relay team will also be in action as the team strives to return to the podium 13 years after it last did at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad held in Beijing, China in 2008.

While Okagbare will be competing in the event for the third time since she made it to the final at the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London in 2012, Nwokocha, the fastest home-based athlete since Mercy Nku ran 11.04 seconds in 1997 in Benin, will be making her debut in the event at the biggest sporting fiesta on earth.


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