Ese Brume, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Ese Brume: Nigerian Athletics beautiful bride strikes Silver in Belgrade
At a moment when Nigerian athletics is having a younger generation of athletes who are blazing the trail in the US collegiate system, hoping to reach the pinnacle of the sport, Ese Brume still continues to remain the shining light of the sport in the country as she always finds a way to deliver a medal at a global championship when the odds are stacked against her.
Nigeria had waited 14 years to win a medal at a World Indoor Championships, as Olusoji Fasuba was the last athlete to host the country’s flag when he won Gold at the men’s 60m in Valencia, Spain. Although very few of the country’s top athletes usually participate indoors, this year’s event in Belgrade offered an opportunity to end that drought.
Who better to send than your beautiful bride, Ese Brume? When Nigeria went six years without an outdoor medal, it was the Long Jumper whose Bronze in Doha snagged the dry spell. At the Tokyo Olympics, it was Brume whose Bronze gave Nigeria her only medal in athletics after going 13 years without a medal in the sport. So, it only made sense she was the one the Athletics Federation of Nigeria sent to snag our medal drought at the World Indoor Championships.
Brume is not one to shy away from a challenge. In fact, she takes each championship as a chance to get better. And at the Stark arena in Belgrade, she once again went into the record books. Her speed, power, and astonishing elasticity offer up the promise of something ridiculous, something absurd, as she bounces off the board and bounds towards the sand.
She didn’t get off to the best of jumps, hitting a modest 6.22m. After round 2 when she reached 6.47m, she found herself in seventh. It wasn’t what she expected. At that point, home favorite, Ivana Vuleta was already in the lead with her second-round effort of 6.87m.
Her third jump was where she finally hit it. Brume hit the sand almost perfectly, the green light showed, and then 6.85m. It was a new Personal Best that took her straight to Silver, behind Vuleta. A couple of other decent jumps, but she wasn’t to be usurped. Brume became a World Indoor Silver medalist.
The last time a Nigerian won a medal in the Long Jump was when Chioma Ajunwa won the Bronze in Paris in 1997. Brume is the gift that keeps on giving. She now boasts the full collection of laurels. A World Championship medal (Indoor and Outdoor), an Olympics Bronze, a commonwealth Gold, a three-time African Championship Gold medalist, an African Games medal gold, and numerous Nigerian titles to spice it up. She was simply born to do this.
Elsewhere, Nigeria’s other representative in the Long Jump, Ruth Usoro placed 8th with a Season’s Best of 6.69m.
Meanwhile, Team Nigeria’s quartet of Ifeanyi Ojeli, Sikiru Adeyemi, Timothy Emeoghene, and Samson Nathaniel clocked a Season’s Best of 3:09.55 to finish 4th in Heat 1 of the men’s 4x400m as they couldn’t progress to the final.