African long jump champion, Ese Brume, won Nigeria’s only bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar yesterday as curtain fell on the 17th edition of the track and field competition.
On a day Nigerians were looking for consolation from the jump pit, Brume, 23, leapt to a 6.91 mark (+0.3 wind) in her second attempt and was beaten by an inch to miss out on the silver that went to Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (6.92).
German jumper, Malaika Mihambo who topped the world list with 7.16m going into the final, produced another stunning 7.30m jump to take the gold.
Brume emulated her fellow Delta jumper and mentor, Blessing Okagbare who won silver at the 14th edition of the Worlds in Moscow in 2013.
Although Brume was unable to match her 7.05m personal best which she achieved last August to become the second best jumper in the world, the precious metal she won yesterday was consolatory for the Nigerian delegation already thinking of returning home empty handed.
Nigeria’s 100m hurdler, Tobi Amusan miss out of podium as she failed to fulfill expectations of becoming the second Nigerian woman to win a 100m hurdles medal at the championships.
The petite Nigerian who set a new 12.48 seconds personal best in the first round and repeated the same time in the semi-final was one of the favourites for the three medals on offer on account of her incredible performances but a slow movement out of the blocks meant the reigning Commonwealth Games queen had a lot of catch-ups to do.
She was however unable to catch three athletes-Nia Ali, the twice World Indoor champion over the 60m hurdles who placed last two years ago in London but emerged the surprise winner in Doha; Kendra Harrisson, the reigning world record holder at 12.20 seconds and Jamaica’s Danielle Williams, the world leader this year at 12.32 seconds.
Ali’s 12.34 seconds winning run not only prevented Amusan from making it to the podium, It also dropped the Nigerian from fourth to fifth in the 2019 top list and from 36th to 37th in the all-time top list.
Meanwhile, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare has hailed Brume for ending Nigeria’s wait for an IAAF World Championships medal after two fruitless trips to Beijing, China in 2015 and London, Great Britain in 2017.
Dare also thanked sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan who finished fourth in the 100m hurdles after breaking 12.50 seconds three times during the championships.
”Doha. Ese Brume. Congrats and thanks for the Bronze medal. Still a champion. Also, Tobi Amusan thanks for competing with the best. Still a champion. The future is bright. Thank you for making Nigeria proud!,” Dare tweeted.
The Sports Minister has now shifted focus to next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, reassuring Nigerians he and the sports family remains focused on making Nigeria proud at the quadrennial games.
He however warned that Tokyo 2020 will not be an all-comers affair as only athletes and sports capable of getting Nigeria at least to the final will be considered for the trip to Japan.