On a day her compatriots were trying to win honours for Nigeria, 2014 Commonwealth Games double sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare chose to race for the $50,000 top prize on offer in the final of the 200m event at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.
The former Nigerian nay African sprint champion however failed to race near the top prize, finishing sixth in 22.66 seconds, a performance that only fetched her $4,000 in prize money.
Okagbare also failed in her bid to become the second Nigerian to be crowned champions of IAAF elite track meetings after Falilat Ogunkoya ran 49.73 seconds to win the 1998 IAAF Golden League final in Moscow.
In Okagbare’s absence in the 200m event at the on-going 12th All Africa Games also run on the same day, Rosemary Chukwu managed to qualify for the final and will be the only Nigerian saddled with the responsibility of stopping Cote D’Ivoire’s Marie Josee Ta Lou from completing a sprint double after winning the 100m gold on Tuesday.
Okagbare was the favourite for the event prior to the Games after running 22.05 seconds in Stanford, California to race up to second on the world list at the time before Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s incredible 21.74 seconds run in Zurich Thursday evening to race to the top of the world list with the Nigerian dropping to third.
Okagbare will get another chance to make history next week Friday at the AG Memmorial Van Damme in Brussels,Belgium where 100m final of the Diamond League will be run.
Also expected to fight for a place in the history books is petite sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan who will strive to achieve what Glory Alozie failed to do in 1998 in Moscow.