Olympic silver medalist, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteghonor has been named Team Nigeria’s flag bearer for today’s Opening Ceremony of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games double gold medalist, broke a 22-year-old African record in March with an impressive 22.04 seconds run at the Wes Kittley Invitational in Texas.
Her feat erased the 200m women African record held by Mary Onyali-Omagbemi since August 1996. Okagbare, who is hitting peak form at the right moment, is the only track athlete to have won an individual medal from the Beijing 2008 Olympic games where she jumped to silver in the Women’s long jump.
She continued with her resurgence on the tracks as she posted a wind assisted 10.72 seconds run to win the women 100m race at the Texas Relay on Sunday April 1, 2018.
Okagbare who spent most of last season nursing an injury after going under the knife, became the undisputed Nigerian fastest woman having the 10.79seconds women 100m national record under her belt.
More than 4,500 athletes from 71 nations and territories will compete for 275 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, which begin today.
There will be the same number of men and women’s medal events for the first time at a major multi-sport event.
The opening ceremony for the 21st Commonwealth Games takes place at the Carrara Stadium and the first gold medal will be contested in the women’s triathlon at 00:31 BST on Thursday.
The Games will be opened by Prince Charles, who follows his father Prince Philip who opened the Games in both Perth, in 1962, and Brisbane, in 1982.
The last time the Games were in Australia in Melbourne in 2006 it was his mother, The Queen who performed the opening.