Reigning Commonwealth Games fastest woman, Blessing Okagbare, has revealed that the change in coaching staff was responsible for her unimpressive performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Okagbare, who is Nigeria’s fastest woman said the difference in training regimes between her former and current change slowed down her pace.
“The change actually slowed me down as I was used to the regime of my former American coach whose expertise made me win lots of races and jumps, Okagbare said.
“The styles imputed in me during his reign from 2010 to 2014 made me a great athlete. At the London 2012 Olympics, my coach prepared me such that once I stand upright in a sprint, I will just be flying. That was when I ran 100 metres at 10.79 seconds.
“I was good to win a medal at the London 2012 Olympics, but the pressure was too much on me to help Nigeria at least win a single medal just for the taking.
I tried my best but, other determined athletes from other countries of the world put me down with their spectacular races in the 100m and 200 metres finals. I was primed to win but, it didn’t happen the way I expected.”
Okagbare said the women’s relay team failed to win a medal in the women’s 4x100m event because the team’s coach was late for the race.
“We failed to win in the relays, because our coach came late for the race and there was no one to coordinate us. The selection of athletes for the different legs of the race was made by the athletes as the coach was nowhere to be found.”
With more athletes blaming bad preparations and the Athletic Federation of Nigeria for poor performances, what could be done to improve Nigeria’s outings at international competitions?