Nigeria’s hope of winning a medal at the 2012 Olympics was cut short when Blessing Okagbare, who ran a personal best of 10.92 in the semifinals, came last in the finals. Critiques say she failed when it mattered most to make her nation proud.
Shelly- Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica defended her 100m Olympics title with an astonishing 10.75secs as Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria finished last with 11.01secs in a star-studded final at the Olympic Stadium in London.
Cameliter Jeter of US finished second in a time of 10.78, representing a second best. The bronze was claimed by Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica who clocked 10.81.
At the mixed zone, Okagbare, who cast doubts over her 100m race, did not talk to the media but complained of leg pains as she walked past. She started showing signs of this in her semifinal race which started on a slow pace but recovered to win. But in the final race, her poor start was well exploited by her rivals who left her reeling in the last place.
Okagbare’s poor display in the final further cast aspersions on Nigeria’s last minute preparations for the London Games.
Earlier in the day, Gloria Asumnu crashed out of the 100m after she came 5th in a time of 11.21secs in Heat 2 of the semi-finals.
In the women’s 400m, Regina George also performed badly in the sem-finals as she could only manage a time of 51.35secs to place 5th in Heat 2.
The sad tale continued as Omolara Omotosho came 4th in Heat 3 in a disappointing time of 51.41secs.
Another Nigerian medal hopeful in the men’s 400m, Amaechi Morton, was disqualified in the semifinal.
“It’s a sad story for Nigeria but what do you expect after our shoddy preparations for the Olympics? We planned to fail,” former Edo State Sports Commissioner, Brown Ebewele, said.