‘I will break Yusuf Alli’s 33-year old long jump record soon’
United States-based long jumper, Joseph Edafiadhe, is still disappointed about not being included in Nigeria’s contingent to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Edafiadhe jumped 7.84 metres to win the gold medal during the National Trials in Benin City, Edo State, which served as the platform for the selection of athletes for both the Oregon 2022 World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Although his jump was short of the 8.22 metres standard set by the AFN for male jumpers to be part of the party to Oregon, Edafiadhe felt he should have been included in the team to the Commonwealth Games since there was no qualification standard set for athletes.
“I paid my flight ticket to Nigeria for the National Trials, and it was sad I was not given a chance to be part of the team to the Commonwealth Games. I was disappointed, but I am not discouraged. At least, I now know the task ahead of me.”
Edafiadhe told The Guardian that his main focus, for now, is to break the 33-year-old long jump record set by Yusuf Alli.
Till date, Alli’s Personal Best of 8.27 metres, which he set in 1989 during the African Athletics Championships in Lagos, still stands as Nigeria’s record in the event.
But the longest national record still standing in the archives of the AFN is the triple jump of 17.26 metres set by Ajayi Agbebaku in Edmonton, Canada, in 1983.
“That Alli long jump record has stayed for too long, and my target is to erase it very soon. It is a task I have set for myself, and by God’s Grace, I will achieve it,” Edafiadhe stated.
Before he relocated to America, the Delta State-born Edafiadhe was a star in African youth athletics.
Between 2011 and 2013, he captured two gold medals for Nigeria, including the African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC) in Warri. He was also a gold medallist at the West Africa University Games held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in 2018.
The Guardian recalls that in the build-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games, Ese Brume broke Chioma Ajunwa’s Atlanta ’96 Olympics record of 7.12 metres with a jump of 7.17 metres during a competition in America. And barely one month after, U.S.-based sprinter, Favour Ofili, broke Blessing Okagbare’s 200 metres National Record (NR), while another Nigerian, Nathaniel Ezekiel, broke Henry Amike’s 35-year-old 400 metres Hurdles NR with a massive Personal Best (PB) of 48.42 seconds set in 1987 by Amike.