Long jumper Ese Brume and sprint hurdler Tobi Amusan top the list of 22 athletes Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN, has selected for the World Athletics Championships which start July 15 in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
Brume, Bronze medalist at the last edition of the championships in Doha, Qatar, three years ago, will be aiming to become the first Nigerian athlete to win medals at two World Championships.
Amusan, fourth three years ago in Doha, will be seeking to become the second Nigerian sprint hurdler to win a medal at the Championships after Glory Alozie who won a Silver medal in Seville, Spain, in 1999.
Also selected is Shot putter Chukwuebuka Enekwechi who placed eighth in 2019 in Doha, as well as sprinter Favour Ofili who made it to the semifinal in the 400m event in her debut three years ago. Ofili will however be competing in the 100m and 200m events where the major target will be to become the first Nigerian, man or woman to make the podium in the 100m event. Ofili will be joined by fellow sprinters Rosemary Chukwuma who was also in Doha in 2019, and Tokyo Olympics 100m and 200m semifinalist, Grace Nwokocha.
Nigeria’s fastest man Favour Ashe, reigning World U20 200m champion Udodi Onwuzurike, and reigning African Games champion, Raymond Ekevwo will compete in the 100m event while new national 400m hurdles record holder, Ezekiel Nathaniel will be making his debut in Oregon. Another World U20 champion Imaobong Nse Uko will also be making her debut in Oregon and will compete in the 400m event and the 4x400m mixed relay.
Also debuting at the championships will be national Triple jump champion and record holder Ruth Usoro who will be competing in both the Long and Triple jumps. Field eventers Sade Olatoye and Chioma Onyekwere are also in the team to Oregon and will compete in the Hammer throw and Discus throw respectively. Both made the team as Area Champions after winning their respective events at the 22nd African Athletics Championships in Mauritius last month.
Godson Brume and Usheoritse Itsekiri will be competing in the 4x100m relay with the three athletes listed for the 100m. For the women’s event, the rejuvenated Joy Udo-Gabriel will be joining the three sprinters listed for the 100/200m events and Amusan.
Patience Okon-George, Knowledge Omovoh, Dubem Amene, Samson Nathaniel and Sikiru Adeyemi will compete in the 4x400m mixed relay. Meanwhile, Kayode Yaya, Gabriel Okon, Esabunor Mavuah and Ken Onuaguluchi will lead the team as coaches. Yaya is coach of Brume and has trained the long jumper to make history as only the second Nigerian athlete after Alozie to win individual medals at the World Indoor and Outdoor Championships as well as the Olympics.