Ese Brume’s Olympics bronze ends athletics 13 years wait for medal
• We are proud of her, says Governor Okowa
Ese Brume yesterday became the first Nigerian to win an Olympics medal in athletics in 13 years when she won a bronze medal in the women’s long jump in the early hours of yesterday.
The news of her victory sparked wide jubilation in the camp of Nigeria’s junior athletes, who are in Asaba preparing for the World U20 Athletics Championships billed for Nairobi, Kenya, from August 17 to 22.
Brume, Nigeria’s only athlete in the final of any event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, put smiles on the faces of Team Nigeria officials as she finished in third place with a leap of 6.97m. Brume tied with U.S. jumper, Brittney Reese, who got the silver owing to her second-best jump of 6.95, which was five centimetres longer than Brume’s 6.90.
Reigning world champion, Malaika Mihamo, leaped 7.00 metres to claim the gold.
Brume broke into limelight in 2013 when she won the African Junior Athletics Championships. In 2014, she won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, as well as the 2014 African Senior Athletics Championships in Morocco. She picked a gold medal at the 2015 African Junior Athletics Championships, and was Nigeria’s only medallist, a bronze medal, at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Speaking with The Guardian from Asaba camp of the junior athletes shortly after Brume’s victory in Tokyo, former Nigerian jumper, hurdler and sprinter, Seigha Porbeni, said: “Majority of the junior athletes stayed awake to watch Ese Brume’s jump. They were so excited to see her pick a medal for Team Nigeria after a long wait. This Brume’s victory is significant to us in athletics family in several ways. Ese Brume’s younger brother, Godson Brume, is one of the sprinters we are preparing for the World Junior Championships in Nairobi. It is a big motivation to us,” Porbeni said.
Meanwhile, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated Ese Brume for her victory, which he described as morale booster to athletes in Delta State and Nigeria as a whole.
Prior to the Olympics Games, Okowa adopted 12 athletes, including Ese Brume, in the adopt-an-athlete campaign initiated by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare.
In Okowa’s congratulatory message made available to The Guardian by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, the governor commended Brume for giving hope to Nigerians when it mattered most.
Okowa recalled that he called Ese before her event on Monday and urged her to bring home Nigeria’s first medal at the Tokyo games, saying “and she did.”
He said Deltans and Nigerians were proud of her achievement.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate our illustrious daughter, Ese Brume, for making us proud yet again when she won Nigeria’s first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“As a state, we are particularly proud of your great accomplishment and it is our prayer that you will continue to work harder to win more laurels for Nigeria in the near future,” Okowa said.
Okowa also congratulated Nigerian wrestler, Blessing Oborududu, for winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
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