Africa’s top ranked long jumper, Ese Brume and Nigeria’s second fastest sprint hurdler of all time, Tobiloba Amusan will make their debut in the money-spinning International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League meet tomorrow in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Brume, the reigning Commonwealth Games long jump champion, long predicted to succeed Blessing Okagbare as the new queen of the horizontal jump is gradually but slowly fulfilling expectations as she out-jumped Okagbare last year (6.83m to 6.73m) and has been the top-ranked African in the event so far this year with 6.64m which she jumped in Denizli, Turkey last May.
The Delta State-born athlete will compete against USA’s Bartoletta Tianna, one of only three athletes who have hit the 7m mark and more this year and Serbia’s Spanovic Ivana who both out-jumped the Nigerian last year at the Rio Olympics.
Also confirmed to battle Brume for the eight points and $10,000 prize on offer for winners are Great Britain’s Ugen Lorraine and Klishina Darya of Russia who both finished below the Nigerian in the final in Rio.
Also making her debut is Amusan, the reigning African 100m hurdles queen who raced into history books last month in Eugene, Oregon, USA where her 12.57 finish not only landed her the NCAA title but also made her Nigeria’s second fastest woman over the distance behind Glory
Alozie whose 12.44 seconds run in 1998 still remains Nigeria and Africa’s best time in the event.
Amusan, ranked the fifth fastest woman in the event so far this year have a huge hurdle to scale if she wants to make a winning start to her campaign in the Diamond League.
The University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP) undergraduate student will have to out-run the world leader in the event this year at 12.47 seconds, USA’s Jasmin Towers, the second fastest woman at 12.52, Nia Ali also of the USA as well as Britain’s Tiffany Porter, the daughter of former Nigeria international sprinter, Edward Ofilli who won the 200m gold at the inaugural edition of the African Championships in 1979.