What was initially thought as a missed opportunity has turned to be a huge blessing when Ese Brume picked up the gold medal in long jump after inconvenient timing had forced Blessing Okagbare to withdraw from the event where she was the overwhelming favourite to win.
Brume, at just 18 years, is another product from Delta State that has become a conveyor belt for the grooming of world beaters.
Just as Okagbare, she is also the product of the vision of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who equally invested in her latent talent after she was discovered about the time of the Delta State-sponsored the Awoture Eleyae Athletics Championship in September 2013 in Sapele.
“Brume is the next best thing to happen to athletics and having been taken under the tutelage of the Delta Sports Commission as a staff, she will continue to get maximum support and guidance. I am confident that with the continued support of Dr. Uduaghan, she will soon become a global household name”, Chike Ogeah, Delta State Commissioner for Information, said.
According to the commissioner, the Sports Commission under professional management has become a conveyor belt for the grooming of young talents that will dominate the global stage. Ogeah revealed that the Commission is working to secure a scholarship for Brume in a United States university through which she will advance her sporting career.
In winning the 200 metres gold at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Okagbare became only the 11th person and the first African to win the sprint double in a single Commonwealth Games in either men and women events.
The Delta State-born star athlete has emerged the most outstanding female athlete of the games with her sterling performance in a field of world class sprinters.
Earlier, Okagbare had won the 100 metres event, setting a new Commonwealth Games record in the process. She would have participated in the long jump, her main specialty, but for the timing that clashed with the 200 metres. Okagbare still has the opportunity to win a third gold medal when the sprint relays commence.
From her humble beginning, Dr. Uduaghan had single handedly taken up her sponsorship which climaxed with the approval of a three-year training grant of $360,000 to the Delta-born Africa’s fastest woman amongst other incentives to enable her succeed.
The governor was part of the over 80,000 spectators that witnessed the 100 metres final where Okagbare dusted a star-studded cast of sprinters. The support for Okagbare comes under the administration’s three-point agenda of which human capital development is a critical arm.
Dr. Uduaghan will continue to support the sprint star who has already won the long jump silver and 200m bronze at the 2013 world athletics championships, the statement further signed Pius Mordi, Special Assistant to the Delta Commissioner for Information revealed.