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    Saturday, February 28, 2015

    We can surpass Okagbare’s records – Young sprinters

    Blessing Okagbare
    Young athletes Ese Brume, Ruth Usoro and Omotayo Abolaji say they have their sights set on surpassing   Blessing Okagbare’s records, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
    Okagbare is the current fastest woman in Africa and the fourth woman in the world to win a double in the Commonwealth.
    On his part Delta State’s Divine Oduduru says he is out to surpass Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt’s record.
    The athletes are currently preparing for the Africa Junior Championships in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from March 3 to 7, as well as the Africa Youth Championships in Mauritius from April 23 to 26.
    Kwara State’s Abolaji, 17, a 100m sprinter, who came third at the 5th Dr D.K. Olukoya U-18 and U-20 Athletics Championships with 12.42 secs, said she was eager to represent the country for the first time.
    Abolaji said she strive to surpass the record’s of Mary Onyali-Omagbemi and   Okagbare, noting that standing on the podium at international competitions was her ultimate dream.
    Delta State’s Brume, who is the reigning African Junior Champion and whose personal best in 100m is 11.84sec +0.5 wind assisted at the 2014 AFN Golden League in Akure is +0.5, said Okagbare is an athlete she looks up to.
    Brume’s personal best in the long jump is 6.68m by a wind assisted +1.8 at the 2014 National Trial in Calabar.
    “There is nothing wrong with having foreign role models but for me Blessing is someone I respect because against all odds, she has been able to raise the country’s flag high at international meets,’’ she said.
    Oduduru, another product of the D.K. Olukoya Championships, became a silver medallist in the 200m at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, United States, said he would work hard to reach Bolt’s height.
    He recorded 10.62 second at the maiden African Youth Athletics Championships in 2013 in Warri.
    He also came second in the 200m of the IAAF World Junior Championships in July 2014 in Eugene, Oregon in the U.S. in 20.25 second with a wind assist of +2.3.
    Lagos State’s Usoro, 17, a 100m, 200m and long jump athlete, said, “I see myself beyond Blessing’s achievements; it is not as if she has not done the country proud. But my dream is to always be called for winning medals for my country in all the competitions I attend.”

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