The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has hailed Blessing Okagbare for the award of the record for most appearances in the money-spinning World Athletics Diamond League achieved when she competed in the 100m event at the Weltklasse Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Switzerland in August 2018.
The beautiful 2014 Commonwealth Games double sprint champion took to her social media handles on Wednesday after she was officially presented with the Guinness World Records Certificate.
“A dream made reality through God’s grace and determination. Look what finally came in the mail…Thanks to the Guinness book of world records. I am indeed honored, proud and grateful,” she wrote on her handles.
AFN Secretary General, Prince Adisa Beyioku says Okagbare has over the years continued to place Nigeria’s name on the map of the world for all the right reasons.
‘The board of the AFN is delighted with the formal presentation of the Guinness World Record certificate for most appearances (67) to our own Blessing Okagbare. She is one of our biggest ambassadors in the sport and has won several medals for Nigeria since 2007 when she won a silver medal in the long jump (6.46m) event at the African Games in Algiers,’said Beyioku in a statement.
The AFN chronicled Okagbare’s incredible achievements and records set in her over a decade storied career on the track to include the 100m/200m gold she won at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland to become the second Nigerian woman after Mary Onyali to achieve the feat.
‘She has scored a number of firsts for Nigeria and Africa on both the track and the pits. For the records Blessing is the first Nigerian woman to hit the 14m mark in the women’s triple jump (14.13m), the first (and only one so far) to run a sub-10.9 and sub-10.8 seconds in the 100m and the only Nigerian athlete, man or woman to win two individual medals at World Athletics’ flagship event, the World Championship courtesy of her silver in the long jump and bronze in the 200m at the Moscow World Championships in 2013.”
Currently Africa’s record holder (22.04 seconds) in the 200m,Okagbare is one of only three Nigerian women to hit the 7m mark in the long jump.
‘The AFN is happy to announce that Okagbare has extended the record for most appearances in the competition to 74 after competing in seven more races in the 2019 edition, winning the 100m in Rabat, Morocco in 11.05 seconds and the 200m at the Prefontaine Classics in Eughene, Oregon, USA in 22.05 seconds to bring her total wins in the competition to 14.
She made her debut in the competition on July 3,2010 at the Prefontaine Classic, running 11.04 seconds to place fourth in the 100m and won her first of 14 events in July 2012 when she ran 10.96 seconds to win the 100m race at at the Monaco leg of the meeting,’ wrote the AFN Secretary General in the statement.