Reigning Commonwealth and African sprints queen,Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria has lost her number one IAAF Diamond League 200m ranking to Allyson Felix of USA.
Okagbare was absent last night at the DN Galan IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stocholm, Switzerland and Felix took advantage of her absence to supplant the Nigerian as the top ranked athlete in the half lap after powering home first in 22.85 seconds ahead of fellow American and 2014 world leader, Bowie Tori (22.91) while another American, Atkins Joana came in third in 23.19 seconds.
Felix,a former multiple world champions has now garnered 13 points,two more than Okagbare to lead the Diamond League race.The athlete with the highest number of points in each discipline at the end of the season wins “The Diamond Race”.
Okagbare also lost ground in the women’s long jump with four points while Bartoletta Tianna of the USA increased her points haul to 12.The Nigerian is out of reckoning in the 100m as she has only garnered 2 points while Bowie leads with 12 points.
The Nigerian is out of Sunday’s 12th leg of the meetings in Birmingham as her name is conspicuosly missing in the provisional list of athletes for the 100m event.
She is however in the list for next Thursday’s penultimate leg in Zurich where she will complete in the 100m event against the likes of reigning World and Olympic champion,Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and the woamn she defeated to win the 100m gold at the African championships,Cote D’Ivoire’s Muriel Ahoure.
Falilat Ogunkoya remains the only Nigerian woman in recent memory to have been crowned champions of the highly lucrative IAAF one day meetings series when she won the 400m event in Moscow,Russia in 1998 to cap an eventful year that also saw her winning gold (440m) and silver (200m,22.25 secs) at the IAAF World Cup in South Africa a few weeks after successfully completing a 200m/400m double at the African championships in Dakar, Senegal.