Blessing Okagbare Celebrates Her 32nd Birthday Today
Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor (born 9 October 1988) is a Nigerian track and field athlete who specializes in long jumping and short sprints. She is an Olympic and World Championships medalist in the long jump, and a world medalist in the 200 metres. She also holds the Women’s 100 metres Commonwealth Games record for the fastest time at 10.85 seconds.
Her 100 m best of 10.79 made her the African record holder for the event until it was eclipsed by Murielle Ahouré in 2016. She is the current African record holder in the 200 m with her run of 22.04 seconds in 2018. She was the African 100 m and long jump champion in 2010. She has also won medals at the All-Africa Games, IAAF Continental Cup and World Relays.
Of Urhobo heritage, Okagbare was born in Sapele, Delta, in Nigeria. Given her athletic physique, teachers and family encouraged her to take up sports.
Initially she played football as a teenager at her high school and later, in 2004, she began to take an interest in track and field. She participated in a number of disciplines early on, competing in the long jump, triple jump and high jump events at the Nigerian school championships and winning a medal in each. On the senior national stage, she was a triple jump bronze medallist at the 2004 Nigerian National Sports Festival. Okagbare’s first international outing came at the 2006 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where she performed in the qualifying rounds of both the long and triple jump competitions.
In September 2014, she married Nigerian footballer Igho Otegheri.