Some athletics coaches in Nigeria have solicited for encouragement for Blessing Okagbare over her disqualification from women’s 100 metres semi-finals heat 1 in Morocco for beating the gun.
According to the coaches, encouragement would help her to face other challenges in the competition and future events.
Okagbare had on Monday in Rabat at the 12th African Games suffered disqualification after a false start in the women’s 100 metres semi-finals heat 1.
She was disqualified for beating the gun at the starting block.
“This is disappointing. I was already looking forward to appearing in the final, but this is disappointing,” the 2008 Olympics women’s long jump bronze medalist said.
One of the coaches, Adegboyega Adenuga, said that Okagbare did not deliberately beat the gun, saying that anyone could have been the victim.
Adenuga said that because nobody was above the law in sports competitions, she was sanctioned for others to be serious with the game.
“You have to be serious in whatever you do. This is a serious game. This thing can happen to anybody. Many great athletes had been disqualified before.
“Others should concentrate on whatever they are doing, they should leave any obstacle encountered behind and face the future challenges,” he said.
Osagie Ikhaobomeh, another coach, said Okagbare’s disqualification could happen to anyone as it has happened before to great athlete like Usain Bolt in a world competition final.
“Okagbare should be encouraged rather than condemning her. She participated in other events during the weekend and she did well.
“She is a professional, who knows the game. Encouraging her will help her to face other challenges in the competition. She did not deliberately beat the gun,” Ikhaobomeh noted.
For Tunde Suleiman, Okagbare did not commit any offence that would warrant her condemnation as electronic gun shot misfires at times also.
He urged the officials and others to encourage her to concentrate on other events with a view to have more medals through her.
“Usain Bolt was disqualified from the final of the 100 metres at the World Championships.
“Her disqualification is not new. The error was just a reaction to an electronic gun shot. If it is in Nigeria we use other gun shot, she can’t make such mistakes. I did not see any offence in her action,“ he said.