Nigerians are still reeling from the euphoria of the new face of women’s athletics as US-based Blessing Okagbare powered to victory on Monday in the women’s 100 metres final.
Okagbare had a strong start and effortlessly crossed the finish line way before her Jamaican competition in 10.85 seconds.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell came second while her team-mate Kerron Stewart took the bronze medal.
Campbell had been favourite to take the title before the start of the games, but Okagbare’s form in the heat showed that the Nigerian (also known as the giant) was the one to beat after she qualified fastest in all the races.
Speaking to the BBC after the race, Okagbare said she was ‘just happy to put on a show,’ and thanked her coach who she said told her to ‘be patient’.
“I executed it and stayed patient like my coach said I should and after 70 metres it just felt easy! I still have the 200m and the long jump and I’m looking forward to both of those events now”, said the African champion.
Nigerians watching the race at Hampden park could be seen jubilating and jumping in their seats as Okagbare brought the gold home and strutted round the track proudly flying the green and white Nigerian colours.
It’s a great come back for the former 4th fastest woman in the world who had a poor outing at the 2012 Olympics. It was a double delight as she also broke Debbie Ferguson’s 12 year record of 10.91 seconds.
Okagbare’s team-mate Bianca Williams who also competed in the race came in at 6th position.
The night also saw great performances from the men’s athletic team although Nigeria’s with Mark Jelks qualifying for the men’s 100 metre final behind Britain’s Adam Gemili.
The 200 metre race saw performances from Nigeria’s Lara Omotosho and Regina George with Omotosho qualifying for the finals.
The table tennis team capped an eventful day for team Nigeria on day 5 of the commonwealth games with a bronze medal after they beat India.
Onaolapo Ojo’s celebratory dance has become something of an internet sensation after he pulled down his trousers to celebrate the team’s outstanding performance.
Nigeria’s medal tally currently stands at 3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals leaving the country in 10th place on the medals table.