After single-handedly nurturing African track queen, Blessing Okagbare, to international stardom through provision of training grants, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, governor of Delta State, was part of the 80,000 ecstatic crowd that witnessed the setting of a new Commonwealth sprint record by the Delta-born star athlete at the Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland on Monday, 28th July, 2014.
In addition to yearly training grants for Okagbare even before she burst onto the national and international scenes, Dr. Uduaghan last year approved a three-year training grant of US$360,000 to the Delta born Africa’s fastest woman amongst other incentives to enable her succeed.
The 25 year-old track queen, who won long jump silver and 200m bronze at the 2013 World Athletics Championships, got off to a quick start in the women’s 100m and maintained her form throughout to clock a games record of 10.85secs.
Reveling in the joy of the moment, the governor who was at the stadium to witness Okagbare’s record breaking performance in a strong field of star sprinters enthused: “It was a great feeling today being at the stadium in Glasgow and watching Blessing Okagbare winning the 100m in grand style in the presence of over 80,000 people.”
And there is still more to come from Okagbare as she will participate in the 200 meters, her major specialty, and the long jump where she equally has bright chances of overhauling the opposition.
Dr. Uduaghan had single handedly taken up the responsibility of nurturing Okagbare from her humble beginnings to her present status as an international athlete.
Speaking on the governor’s gesture, Chike Ogeah, Delta State Commissioner for Information, said it is a product of Dr. Uduaghan’s passion for developing human capital, a critical pivot of his administration’s three-point agenda.