—Loses ground in diamond league race
Reigning Nigeria 100m queen, Blessing Okagbare slipped moments after coming out of the blocks yesterday in Laussane,Switzerland and failed to finish in the 100m race won by Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle Lee Ahye in 10.98 seconds.
The Nigerian was expected to not only fight for the maximum four points on offer for a win but also to break 10 seconds for the first time this season following her 11.06 seconds personal season’s best run to win her sixth 100m title at the Nigerian trials last month in Calabar.
Prior to last night’s race, Okagbare was joint-fastest African in the event with Cote D’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahoure at 11.06. Ahoure however profited from Okagbare’s slip by breaking 10 seconds for the first time this season to become Africa’s fastest woman so far this season.
She ran 10.98 seconds, same as Ahye but the Trinidad and Tobago athlete who holds the world 2014 best of 10.85 was adjudged the winner based on her better reaction time.
By that slip, Okagbare has slipped further in the IAAF Diamond League ranking to fifth with just two points.
American girl Bowie Tori still tops the ranking with eight points while Ahye and reigning world champion, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce are joint second with four points.
Meanwhile Okagbare will have another chance to prove she is still among the very best tomorrow in Paris when the Diamond League train moves to Paris for its eighth stop.
She is moving a lap up to compete in a star-studded 200m that includes reigning world champion,Fraser-Pryce, reigning world leader at 22.18, Bowie and former world champion, Allyson Felix of the USA.
Okagbare tops the half lap rankings with six points, one more than Felix while Bowie who ran the fastest time in the world on May 31 in Oregon to edge Okagbare (22.23) is two further behind.