Former Nigerian top runner, Gloria Alozie, has advised African track queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteghonor to concentrate on events she is best prepared for at the fast approaching Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Okagbare announced her return to top form last weekend with a blistering 22.04 seconds run at the 2018 Wes Kittley Invitational in Texas, erasing the 200m women African record held by Mary Onyali-Omagbemi since August 1996.
There are media reports suggesting that Okagbare might not participate in the sprint event at the Commonwealth Games, but Alozie, who represented Nigeria at Sydney 2000 Olympics and was undoubtedly one of the world’s fastest sprinters, at some point, beaten only by Marion Jones of the United States, feels that the sprint events might be more rewarding for Okagbare at the Commonwealth Games.
My advise to Okagbare is to compete in the event she prepared for in Commonwealth Games,” Alozie said in a message to The Guardian yesterday. “She should concentrate on event she and her coach agreed to participate on. Other people’s opinion must not distract her. If she doesn’t want to run the 100m and 200m, that means that she didn’t prepare for them,” Alozie stated.
On the new African record of 22.04seconds set by Okagbare recently in Texas, USA, Alozie said: “I am very happy for Blessing Okagbare to have erased Mary Onyali’s record. But I must say that the record stayed for so long before it was broken because it was set by not just anybody but our own Mary Onyali who happened to be amongst the best. Records are always not that easy to be broken even at the world level because they are always performances at the highest level. Even some world records have stood for many years,” Alozie, a world junior champion, who went on to have a successful senior career stated.