Blessing Okagbare is among the world’s finest sprinter/long jumpers. The Nigerian took the long jump silver and 200m bronze medals at the IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013 and will be looking to add to her medal collection at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games this summer.
Banga soup. I was pretty young at the time living with my grandma and she taught me how to make the soup out of fresh palm nut.
I remember aged 14 or 15 I was really skinny and after putting on skinny jeans at the time, my sisters couldn’t stop laughing. I thought I looked good, but it took me a few years to start wearing jeans again.
I bought a two-year-old Lexus in 2010. It has been a highly reliable car and I still have it.
I’ve never had one. I’m always on the road so if I have a pet he or she is going to suffer. If I did have a pet, it would be a parrot.
Year : 2008 Beijing
Event: Long jump
2013 Moscow Long jump
2013 Moscow 200 m
Gold – 2014 Glasgow 100 m
Gold – 2014 Glasgow 200 m
Silver – 2014 Glasgow 4×100 m relay
Bronze – 2018 Gold Coast 4×100 m relay
Gold – 2011 Maputo Long jump
Gold – 2011 Maputo 4×100 m relay
Gold – 2015 Brazzaville 4×100 m relay
Silver – 2007 Algiers Long jump
Silver – 2011 Maputo 100 m
Gold – 2010 Nairobi 100 m
Gold – 2010 Nairobi Long jump
Gold – 2010 Nairobi 4×100 m relay
Gold – 2014 Marrakesh 100 m
Gold – 2014 Marrakesh 4×100 m relay
Gold – 2018 Asaba 4×100 m relay
Silver – 2012 Benin 100 m
|2006||World Junior Championships||Beijing, China||6th (q)||Long jump||5.97 m|
|8th (q)||Triple jump||12.81 m|
|2007||All-Africa Games||Algiers, Algeria||2nd||Long jump||6.46 m|
|4th||Triple jump||13.77 m|
|2008||Olympic Games||Beijing, China||3rd||Long jump||6.91 m|
|2010||African Championships||Nairobi, Kenya||1st||100 m||11.03|
|1st||Long jump||6.62 m|
|1st||4 × 100 m relay||43.45 CR|
|Continental Cup||Split, Croatia||3rd||100 m||11.14|
|3rd||4 × 100 m relay||43.88|
|2011||World Championships||Daegu, South Korea||5th||100 m||11.12|
|9th (q)||Long jump||6.36 m|
|6th||4 × 100 m relay||42.93|
|All-Africa Games||Maputo, Mozambique||2nd||100 m||11.01 w|
|1st||Long jump||6.50 m w|
|1st||4 × 100 m relay||43.34|
|2012||African Championships||Porto-Novo, Benin||2nd||100 m||11.18|
|1st||Long jump||6.96 m|
|Olympic Games||London, United Kingdom||8th||100 m||11.01|
|7th (q)||Long jump||6.34 m|
|4th||4 × 100 m relay||42.64|
|2013||World Championships||Moscow, Russia||6th||100 m||11.04|
|2nd||Long jump||6.99 m|
|2014||World Relays||Nassau, Bahamas||4th||4 × 100 m relay||42.67|
|Commonwealth Games||Glasgow, United Kingdom||1st||100 m||10.85 GR|
|2nd||4 × 100 m relay||42.92|
|African Championships||Marrakesh, Morocco||1st||100 m||11.00|
|1st||4 × 100 m relay||43.56|
|2015||World Relays||Nassau, Bahamas||7th||4 × 100 m relay||42.99|
|1st||4 × 200 m relay||1:30.52|
|World Championships||Beijing, China||8th||100 m||11.02|
|African Games||Brazzaville, Congo||1st||4 × 100 m relay||43.10|
|2016||Olympic Games||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||3rd (sf)||100 m||11.09|
|5th (sf)||200 m||22.69|
|8th||4 × 100 m relay||43.21|
|2017||World Championships||London, United Kingdom||4th (sf)||100 m||11.08|
|8th||Long jump||6.55 m|
|2018||Commonwealth Games||Gold Coast, Australia||3rd||4 × 100 m relay||42.75|
|African Championships||Asaba, Nigeria||1st||4 × 100 m relay||43.77|
|2019||African Games||Rabat, Morocco||4th (h)||100 m||11.531|
|1st (h)||4 × 100 m relay||43.49|
|World Championships||Doha, Qatar||–||200 m||DQ|
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I was tomboy when I was younger and I used to play football on the streets with the guys. I later played for fun for my high school. I did enjoy playing the game, but I got scared. I was really fast when I had the ball but people would use me as a target and start kicking me. That was the moment I thought, 'I’m not sure if I want to do this'..
His name is Daniel. He started coaching me when I was 14 or 15. He was very inspirational. He was the one who first told me to think about whether I was prepared to do the practise if I wanted to reach the top. He was a little tough.
Some of the first races I remember were on the street, competing against and beating the guys. My first organised race came after my sister told a PE teacher that I could ‘really run’; that teacher then paid for me to go to my first race. I blew everyone away over 100m on a grass field and that’s how it started.
It was to China for the 2006 World Junior Championships. I remember I was so excited to get on a plane, but I was more preoccupied at looking at everything on the flight and taking everything in rather than looking after myself and preparing for a big competition. I got a cold on the flight and became quite sick. I didn’t do well in China and I didn’t make the final of the long jump or triple jump.
My first medal came at the 2007 African Games which took place in Algeria. I was still young and learning. I was a little kid back then and very naive. Yet I had fun in the competition and ended up doing pretty well. I finished fourth in the triple jump and won a silver medal in the long jump.
I competed at a local high school sport event in the long jump and high jump, and the local newspaper interviewed me. I was really shy and I didn’t really know what to say other than I’m really happy I won. I used to buy all the newspapers I appeared in and kept them. Sometimes today I read them as a reminder to see how far I've come. It helps me stay focused
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