3) Ese Brume
Ese Brume is someone many had already written off even before the commencement of the Rio Olympics. Since the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where she won GOLD in women’s Long Jump, not much was heard about her progress.
It must be noted that due to an injury, Brume did not make the Nigerian team that participated at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, and could not make the podium in Congo Brazzaville after finishing 4th with a leap of 6.23m.
Probably that acted as an incentive to spur her to reinvigorate herself in 2016, bouncing back stronger.
This year, Brume at the Akure Golden League in June, jumped a lifetime best of 6.83m to meet the Olympic qualification standard of 6.70m.
It was in Rio that Brume showed that she’s regained her 2014 form as she successfully navigated through the qualification stages and made it to the final, and then came close to a podium placement, finishing 5th with a mark of 6.81m.
Interestingly, Brume’s coach was not in Rio with her, and later revealed that she was even struggling with an injury. Which brings us to the point of believing that she may have won a medal things had fallen in place, or possibly even jumped up to 7.00m.
Sadly for Nigerians, none of her jumps was shown live on TV. However, her fans were satisfied with her performance, seeing how she matched up with the likes of Tianna Bartoletta, Brittney Reese and Ivana Spanovic.
Two Nigerians have won Olympic Long Jump medals: Chioma Ajunwa and Blessing Okagbare. Come Tokyo 2020, Brume may continue this rich tradition.