By Dare Esan:
African 200m record holder, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor’s spiralling dip in form continued Friday at the Herculis Zepter, the 10th leg of the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Monaco where she ran 11.32 seconds to race home last in the 100m race, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Ivorian duo of Marie-Jose Ta Lou (10.89 seconds) and Muriel Ahoure (11.01 seconds) came in first and second respectively.
The duo and South Africa’s Carina Horn who ran 11.21 seconds to place seventh at the meeting will be among the sprinters the Nigerian will race against early next month at the African Athletics Championships in Asaba, Delta state.
Nigerians had hoped before the race that the former Commonwealth Games double sprint champion would race back to form and reckoning just in time for the kickoff of the Asaba 2018 event but she failed to fulfil expectations and has now raised serious doubts about Nigeria’s chances of winning the 100/200m gold and by extension the 4x100m relay gold.
Okagbare’s dip in form began soon after she ran 10.90 seconds early May to come second behind Ta Lou (10.85 seconds) at the opening leg of the Diamond League meetings.
She ran 23.03 seconds to place sixth on June 3 at the Fanny Blankers Koen Games in Hengelo, the Netherlands, a performance that made the television commentator queried her world leading 22.04 seconds run in March in Abilene, Texas, USA.
That performance was dismissed as a one off and that the Nigerian 100/200m record holder would bounce back big in Eugene, Oregon at the Prefontaine Classics, the third leg of the Diamond League meetings.
The Nigeria ran 11.07 seconds to place seventh in the blue ribband event as Nigerians began to express worries over her form.
Okagbare dipped further in form at the Oslo and Stockholm Diamond League meetings respectively where she ran 11.12 seconds to place fourth in one and 11.29 seconds to place fifth in the other.
She failed to appear in Lausanne where the meetings made another scheduled stop before Friday evening’s show in Monaco.