Nigeria’s female long jumper, Ese Brume reaped her reward for hard work yesterday in Lagos, after emerging the country’s best track and field athlete at the just concluded Rio Olympic Games.
Brume, who graduated from the junior cadre to the senior team two years ago in Glasgow, Scotland, where she won the long jump gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, was again the cynosure of all eyes at the Rio Olympics, finishing 5th in the women’s long jump final. She was the only Nigerian individual athlete to reach the final in Rio.
At a time everything had fallen apart for Team Nigeria in track and field, Brume came with a big surprise, jumping her personal best mark of 6.81m to challenge for a medal, although it was not enough to get her on the podium. No one gave her a chance of making it to the final.
She arrived the country three days ago, and yesterday in Lagos, the owner of FROT Group, an energy and construction company based in Lekki, Lagos, decided to honour the athlete and her coach Kayode Yaya.
Apart from getting them cash reward for doing the nation proud in Rio, the FROT Group boss, Frank Momoh promised to give Brume the assistant she will need to make the podium in Tokyo 2020.
Last weekend, Momoh had rolled out a red carpet for Nigeria’s table tennis stars, Aruna Quadri, Segun Toriola, Funke Oshonaike and other members of the table tennis team to the Rio Olympics in a welcome dinner, which took place at Wheatbaker hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.
At that occasion, Momoh doled out N1million to Aruna Quadri, N500,000 for Toriola, while and Funke Oshonaike and other members of the team got N1 million.
But yesterday, Momoh gave Brume and her coach the sum of N200,000, a gesture the athlete and her coach Yaya described as remarkable.
“I don’t know how to express our gratitude to FROT Group,” Brume told journalists yesterday. “This is a man I have not met before in my entire life. I returned from Rio three days ago and he sent for me and my coach to see him in his office. Apart from giving us N100,000 cash each, he has told us to prepare a programme for my training for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and that he will help me in whatever way. I can’t believe we still have this type of people in this part of the world. I am really grateful and I pray God to help me actualise my dream of making it to the podium in Tokyo 2020. That is the only way I can pay back to Mr. Frank Momoh in particular and the management of FROT Group,” Brume stated.
On his part, coach Yaya said that the gesture by Frank Momoh would go a long way in motivating Brume, not only ahead Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but other major competitions like the Commonwealth Games, African championship and the IAAF World Athletics Championship. He called on other Nigerians and corporate organisations to emulate the FROT Group boss, Momoh.
In the past three years, Frank Momoh had displayed to many Nigerians his philanthropist attitude, especially for sports men and women. He had been providing financial support for Nigerian sports, including football, table tennis and wheelchair basketball at state and national levels. He has just added athletics.
During the preparation for the Rio Olympics, Momoh played the ‘big brother’s role’ by providing financial support for the duo of Aruna Quadri and Segun Toriola.
In Rio, Quadri made history by beating his world-rated German opponent, Boll Timo, 4-2 to seal a historic berth in the quarterfinals of men’s single table tennis event, the first African to reach that level at the Games. Impressed by the Quadri’s performance, Momoh announced a cash prize of $2,500 for him, which he redeemed last weekend.
For the long jumper Ese Brume, she will be quite happy how 2016 has been for her She won the African long jump title in Durban, South Africa and also set a new PB of 6.83m at the Akure Golden League.
Part of the things Brume wants to prepare herself for Tokyo 2020 Olympics is a well equip gymnasium, funding for IAAF sanctioned competitions, among others.