After a splendid 2018 season, Brume sets eyes on world stage
Reigning African long jump champion, Ese Brume, hopes she will be ‘better’ equipped in 2019 to deal with the challenges on the track, particularly the World Athletics Championship holding in Doha.
Brume, who set a new championship record in the women’s long jump at the recently concluded 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja, is back to her base in North Cyprus, where she currently combines education with her athletics career. Brume is on a scholarship programme with Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, studying Tourism and Hospitality management.
At the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, soft-speaking Brume was almost the reason why many Nigerians fell in love with athletics after all the ‘big names’ failed to live up to their responsibilities. She was the only Nigerian athlete who made it to the final in an individual event, when she smashed her personal best of 6.68m with a jump of 6.81m on the final day to finish fifth overall. Brume, who was 20 years old then, was the youngest among the women jumpers at the Rio Olympics.
Brume captured a gold medal for Team Nigeria at Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, before leading her state, Team Delta, to top the medals table at the 19th National Sports Festival in Abuja. She leapt 6.62m to claim gold and also erase the former record of 6:39m held by Chinedu Udozor.
Speaking with The Guardian from North Cyprus yesterday, Brume said: The outgoing year (2018) has been a special year for me in many ways, but I believe that 2019 will be better. I will build on the successes I recorded on the track in 2018, especially as we look forward to the World Athletics Championship in Doha in 2019. By the Grace of God, I will capture a medal for Team Nigeria. That is my target.”
In 2014, a relatively unknown Brume took the entire Commonwealth nations by surprise when she conquered all senior competitors in the race for the gold medal in the long jump event. That was in Glasgow, Scotland.
A few days later, she made Team Nigeria’s contingent to the African Senior Athletics Championship in Marrakech, Morocco, where she also won a gold medal for Team Nigeria.
While Brume was able to defend her African championship title two years later at Durban, South Africa 2016, the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) denied her the opportunity of defending her Commonwealth Games’ title in Gold Coast, Australia, earlier this year. Her morale dropped, but she did not allow the frustration to weigh her down.
At Asaba 2018 African Senior Athletics Championship, Brume rose to the occasion by winning a gold medal, her third in the African Championships, with a leap of 6.83 meters to equal her season’s best recorded earlier this year in Jamaica.
She has been shuttling between North Cyprus, Nigeria and other parts of the world attending various competitions to equip herself for the Doha 2019 Athletics Championship.
“I set a target for myself at the beginning of the 2018 season, and I thank God for the achievement I made on the track. I also thank my coach, Yahaya Kayode, for role he has played in my athletics career so far. Now, I have to think ahead. The 2019 World Athletics Championship is a bigger event. I will need the support of Nigerians both the government, sports-loving individuals and corporate bodies to get a better result. Don’t also forget that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is ahead of me. This is the time to work for the medal instead of the usual fire brigade approach. As I said, I will need the support of all Nigerians to achieve my dream.” Brume stated.