AFN officials shocked as long jumper, Brume, begins season with 400m
Oduduru plans big for Rio Olympics
Commonwealth gold medalist, Ese Brume, shocked officials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) yesterday in Lagos when she made a surprise appearance in the 400m race in the All Comers Championship held at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
Brume was one of Nigeria’s celebrated stars in 2014, as she won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow before beating all contenders to grab the top spot at the African Senior Athletics Championship in Morocco. She is one of the athletes Nigerians are looking up to in this year’s Rio Olympics Games.
But yesterday at the Yaba College of Technology, venue of the All Comers event, Brume gave top officials of the AFN, including the President, Chief Solomon Ogba and lovers of the sport, a lot to worry about.
Her decision to compete in the 400m event instead of her usual short sprint or jumps was seen as ‘awkward’ by many officials.
“I have not seen this before,” Ogba screamed on seeing Brume on the starters’ block lined up against other 400m runners. “What is Ese trying to do? A long jumper beginning her athletics season with 400m in an Olympics year? I expected Ese to start with the 200m to build her speed but not 400m,” Ogba stated.
Also dismayed by Brume’s action was former long jumper, Yusuf Alli, who lamented, “I don’t know who advised Brume to begin her season with 400m race. I am a professional in this field and I can say it is wrong for a long jumper to suddenly go into 400m race. The result is not always good. But I wish her the best.”
However, the athlete, Ese Brume explained to The Guardian that the decision to begin her season with the 400m race was to open her mind and at the same time prepare her for the sprint and jumps.
“This is my first athletics competition this year and I decided to begin with 400m to open my mind. It will help me in the build up for the 100m and 200m, which I require for my triple and long jump events. Those complaining against it may have their reasons, but I feel satisfied by finishing third in this 400m race. By next week in Abuja, I will go into 200 and the triple jump.
“The Olympics Games is the biggest of all sporting events and to book a ticket to Rio 2016 means I have to be one of the best jumpers in the World. It is possible because that has been my dream since I started competing with senior athletes. I am working towards it and by the grace of God, I will make it to Rio and I won’t disappoint Nigerians,” Brume stated.
At the end of the All Comers event yesterday, one of Nigeria’s rising stars in athletics, Divine Oduduru, won the 100m race in 10.36 sec ahead of Jare Folarin (10.61 sec) and Mbamara Stanley (10.84 sec).
Oduduru told The Guardian that his major target is to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians at the Rio Olympics. “I have already qualified for Rio and my focus now is how to make Nigeria proud at the Games.”
In the women’s 100m race, Agnes Osazuwa won in 11.51 sec, while Peace Uko and Aniekene Alphonsus finished second and third in 11.54 seconds and 11.58 seconds respectively.
AFN boss, Ogba, who just arrived from the United States where Nigerian athletes took part in the Pen Relays said that he is optimistic Nigerian athletes would do well in Rio Olympics.
“But I foresee a situation where our junior athletes will shock the foreign-based stars during our final selection competition,” Ogba stated.
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