By Dare Esan:
Reigning African triple jump king Tosin Oke will be the only Nigerian in action at the Weltklasse athletics meeting, the 13th meeting of the IAAF Diamond League series on Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland.
Oke, who holds a personal season’s best of 17.13m but failed to hop, step and jump into the triple jump final at the recently concluded Rio Olympics barely a year after finishing eight at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China will hope to end his season perhaps with another jump outside 16m as he is not in contention for the points scoring Diamond race which runs throughout the 14 IAAF Diamond League meeting series.
Winners of each Diamond Race, according to the official website of the Diamond League meetings, will get a Diamond Trophy, a cash prize, a wild card for the IAAF World Championships but more importantly, will have shown season long consistency to earn the unchallenged honour of being the World Number 1.
Oke is ranked 10 in the race going into the Zurich meeting with four points and clearly out of running for the top spot which is occupied by reigning World and Olympic champion Christian Taylor of the USA who has amassed 40 points.
Sprinter cum long jumper Blessing Okagbare who has not been confirmed for Thursday’s event is also out of reckoning for the Diamond Race main cash prize and trophy.
The Nigerian who lost both her 100m African title (including the championship record) and 10.79 seconds African record to Cote D’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure is ranked joint 10th in the 100m with six points where Jamaica’s reigning Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson tops the ranking with 30 points.
The Nigerian is placed ninth in the long jump with four points.Former World and Olympics long jump champion,Britney Reese tops the ranking.
Okagbare was disappointing at the Lausanne,Switzerland and Paris,France legs of the Diamond League meetings last week, leaping a distance of 6.11m and 6.26m in the long jump to place last in the two respective meetings.