Facts have emerged why Nigerian sprinter, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor pulled out of both the 100m and 200m at the ongoing 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, Asaba 2018.
Okagbare is the most experienced athlete in Team Nigeria, and many were looking up to her to lead the country's medals challenge against South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya and others on home soil.
Her decision to pull out of the sprint events on Wednesday did not go down well with some keen followers of athletics, who felt that the Sapele-born Okagbare may have chickened out to avoid being disgraced by some up-coming athletes.
Some are of the opinion that Okagbare's decision to pull out at the dying minute was her 'usual' way of rubbishing the image of the country at major competitions.
"This was the same Okagbare who ran at the money spinning IAAF Diamond League recently.
Why will she pull out of the CAA event here in Asaba? It is her usual way of selecting events, and I blame the AFN for falling for Okagbare's tricks once aganin. It is bad for her career," one angry athletics coach fumed yesterday.
However, Okagbare's coach, Daniel Etsebiminor, told The Guardian yesterday that the athlete decided to stay away from both the 100m and 200m due to injury.
"Her doctor actually advised her to shut down for the whole season, but since we are hosting this event here in Asaba, Okagbare decided to be part of it.