A happy Ese Brume appreciates the support from the few Nigerians in the stands to cheer her during her event. Photo Credit: Reuters / Aleksandra Szmigiel

Just like she did in 2019 when she ended Nigeria’s 6-year drought at the World Championships, Ese Brume this time ended her country’s long wait for a medal in Athletics at an Olympic Games, leaping to Bronze in the women’s Long Jump in Tokyo.

Brume gave many fans who stayed up in Nigeria to watch her, something to be glad that they didn’t waste valuable sleep time watching her, coming very close to a GOLD medal but eventually settling for a Bronze with a first attempt of 6.97m (+0.4).

Germany’s Malaika Mihambo showed why she can never be discounted in any competition, jumping 7.00m on her very last attempt to snatch the GOLD medal, despite being in a Bronze medal position all through the competition. USA’s Brittney Reese got Silver with an identical mark as Brume (6.97m), finishing in 2nd place on count-back.

The women’s Long Jump was always to going to be keenly contested, dragging into the very last attempt. Brume put herself in contention for a medal going to Tokyo when she jumped a World Leading mark of 7.17m in May, breaking Chioma Ajunwa’s 25-year African Record.

Going into the lead with her first attempt, the four-time Nigerian champion did remarkably well holding on till the fifth attempt when Reese reached out to a distance of 6.95m to take the lead yet again on count-back.

Mihambo then stepped up to surpass everyone on her very last attempt, saving the best for the last with exactly 7.00m, the only woman on the day to jump that mark. Brume had the last chance to equal or match the mark if she was to claim GOLD, and having come short by 10cm jumping 6.90m, she then settled for Bronze.

It’s a good testament of the progress she has made since Rio 2016 when missed out on a podium placement, finishing 5th with a mark of 6.83m.

For 13 years, Nigeria has had to wait for its first Athletics medal at the Olympics, the longest the country has gone before 1984 when they won their first ever medal in Track and Field, winning Bronze in the men’s 4x400m in Los Angeles.

Brume now enters the history books for Nigeria, as one of only few athletes to complete the set: winning medals at all major championships she has competed in. Gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Bronze at the World Championships in Doha, and now Bronze at the Olympics.

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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