Nigeria’s emerging long jump queen, Ese Brume may be heading for her first title in the African Senior Athletics Championships, going by her exploits at the recently ended Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she won the GOLD medal, much to the surprise of keen athletics observers around the world!
Brume is not a stranger to winning titles though, as she won the Long Jump and took Silver in the Triple Jump at the African Junior Championships in Mauritius last year. She is the reigning National Sports Festival Champion, a feat which brought her to national limelight in 2012. She also emerged 2014 Nigerian champion at the National Trials with a PB of 6.68m set in Calabar.
However, her outing in Glasgow stunned most observers as Brume, who was at the bottom of the qualifiers at the IAAF World Junior Championships with 5.18m only a week earlier, suddenly transformed into the Commonwealth Champion with a jump of 6.56m. Her performance in the Qualifying rounds in Glasgow did little to hint at her potential to win the title, as she only just qualified for the final in 12th with a distance of 6.29m.
In the final, the home nations’ favourite for the title, England’s Shara Proctor suffered an injury while attempting her first jump, which ruled her out of the competition, thus paving way for the Nigerian sensation to clinch her first Commonwealth title. Hence the Delta State athlete emerged as one of the surprise Champions of the tournament, following the absence of 2013 World Silver Medallist and Commonwealth’s No.2 this year, Blessing Okagbare, who would have been favourite to win if she had competed, going by her pedigree in the event.
With Okagabre, Africa’s No. 1 Long Jumper, also not listed for the Long Jump at these African Championships, she seems set not to defend her African Long Jump Title which she won at the last two editions, most recently with a Championship Record of 6.96m in Benin Republic in 2012. That notwithstanding, Nigeria still looks likely to clinch at least two medals in the event, with the participation of both Ese Brume and Chinazom Amadi, Nigeria’s No. 3 and African No. 4 in the event, with 6.39m this season.
Can Brume jump her way into the history books by becoming the Reigning National, African (both Senior and Junior) and Commonwealth Long Jump Champion all in one swoop? Watch out for her as the 19th African Senior Athletics Championships take off from August 10th to 14th!
Long Jump Women’s Schedule: August 11th, Qualification Rounds at 10am, August 12th, Final at 8.10pm
(NB: This program is liable to change according to the number of participants and the local conditions)