By Dare Esan:
Nigeria’s triple jump king Tosin Oke finished fifth in the event at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday to move to ninth in the Diamond Race ranking.
Oke, overlooked by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria for next week’s 20th African Championships in Athletics in Durban, South Africa, hopped, stepped and jumped 16.30m after opening with a rather pedestrian 15.95m to gain two more points in the Diamond Race while reigning world champion Christian Taylor of the USA expectedly won the event with 17.95m to extend his lead in the Diamond Race to an unassailable 30 points, 23 more than his closest rival Doris Troy of Guyana.
Although Oke’s 16.30m was achieved with a -0.2 meters per second headwind, the mark is the Nigerian’s worst so far this season after hopping, stepping and jumping 16.73m personal season’s best on the opening day of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, Qatar on May 6.
He improved to a wind-aided 16.87m on May 22 at the Fanny Blankers-Koen meet in Hengelo, Holland.
Meanwhile, national high jump queen Doreen Amata has revealed she is battling the South African embassy in the USA for visa for next week’s African Championships in Athletics.
Amata who revealed she has cleared a record-equalling 1.95m at a meeting in the USA late last month is eager to be in Durban for the meet so that she can rewrite Nigeria’s ugly high jump record in the championships.
No Nigerian female vertical jumper has won the African Championships title and Amata, with an African leading 1.95m best going to the event, is hopeful of changing the narrative in Durban.