Nigeria’s hopes of winning a medal in both the 100 metres and 200 metres events at the on-going Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship were dampened yesterday by the decision of star sprinter, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor to pull out of the events.

It means Okagbare won’t give Cote d’Ivoire’s Marie Jose Ta Lou a fight in the sprints event. Fans were looking forward to a mouthwatering clash between Okagbare and Ta Lou, but the Nigerian record holder in the 100m and 200m did not run in the heats decided yesterday. It was gathered that she might not run in the 200m and probably the relays later in the Championships.

No reason have been given Okagbare chose to pull out of the events, but sources close to the athlete hinted that she was not fully fit and was only looking at building up to compete in the relays.Cote d’Ivoire’s  Ta Lou, who is the leading woman in the world this season, is now expected to have a free ride to her first African Athletics Championships title with Ghana’s Janet Amponsah being the only athlete to pose a challenge. Ta Lou posted 11.25 seconds in the heats.