Brume sees brighter future, as victorious Nigeria’s junior athletics team returns
Nesiama, Porbeni celebrate Decathlon gold
NIGERIA’S contingent to the 12th Africa Junior Athletics Championships, which ended on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, returned Monday with star athlete of the championship, Ese Brume, declaring that the future looks very bright for Team Nigeria in this year’s All Africa Games and other athletics competitions.
Nigeria successfully defended the title it won two years ago in Mauritius by grabbing 12 gold, eight silver and seven bronze medals to top the table in Addis Ababa. But only six athletes won Nigeria’s 12 gold medals, with Ese Brume getting three gold and one bronze, while sprinter Divine Oduduru won three gold. South Africa was second with nine gold, seven silver and seven bronze, while hosts, Ethiopia, came third with seven gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Speaking with The Guardian on arrival Monday, an excited Brume said the level of opposition in Addis Ababa was higher than what they experienced in Mauritius two years ago.
“The opposition was higher this time, but I thank God we won,” Brume said. “We trained harder because we expected South Africa and Ethiopia to give us good opposition.”
Brume won her three gold in the long jump, where she set a new record, triple jump and 4x100m. She was third in the 100m.
She anchored Nigeria’s 4x100m relay quartet, which included Aniekeme Alphonsus, Omotayo Abolaji and Blessing Adiakerehwa to break the 18-year-old record, just as the men’s 4x100m team made up of Thankgod Igube, Victor Peka, Chukwudi Olisakwe and Divine Oduduru also impressed, breaking the 40s barrier with a time of 39.99s to win the event. Oduduru also won the 100m and 200m gold.
Technical Director of AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama and Director of coaches in the AFN, Seigha Porbeni, praised the team for the success in Addis Ababa.
The duo was particularly happy for the gold medal Nigeria won in the decathlon, an event dominated by South Africa in the past.
“We thought that Egypt and other countries would be able to give South Africa a good fight in such areas, but they failed. What we did was to encourage our athletes to go into such areas and we got a surprised gift, a gold in decathlon through Temidayo Osinbanjo and a silver in pole volt through Ituah Enahoro. I am really impressed by the team’s performance,” Nesiama said.
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