Commonwealth and African female long jump champion, Ese Brume is on her way to Lausanne, Switzerland, where she hopes to hit the 6.75m qualification standard in the long jump set for the fast approaching London 2017 IAAF World Senior Athletics Championship. The Athletissima meeting in Lausanne will hold on July 6.
Athletissima is an annual athletics event, which first edition took place in 1977. Brume was almost the sole reason many Nigerians stuck to athletics after all the ‘big names’ failed to live up to their billings at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
She was the only Nigerian athlete to make 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.
The Delta State-born jumper left Nigeria a few months ago for North Cyprus, where she is on a scholarship programme with Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, studying Tourism and Hospitality management.
Speaking with The Guardian at the weekend, Brume, who has a sponsorship deal with kits manufacturing company, Adidas, sounded optimistic of making the qualification mark for the London World Championship in Lausanne.
She has been travelling around the world since the beginning of the season attending various competitions to equip herself for the London Games. She was at the Drake Relays, where she placed second with a jump of 6.41m, just as she also attended the University Games, Pamukele in Turkey, where she placed first, setting a new record in the process with a jump of 6.68m.
She flew to Boston, United States, earlier this month for the Boost Boston Games, where she placed third with a jump of 6.50m.
She is full of confidence going into the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne saying: “I have worked so hard since I returned from the Boost Boston Games, and I pray things work out fine this time.”
Brume, a gold medallist at 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and African Championship in Morocco wants to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians once again.
She is still missing the technical support of her coach Yahaya Kayode, whom she says may join her soon in North Cyprus. “His presence means a lot for me.”
Brume actually made the 6.75m qualification mark in one of the competitions she attended recently, but she fouled in the process. “It was a very painful experience, which I pray won’t repeat itself again.”
This season, Brume remains Nigeria and Africa’s top jumper with her 6.68m mark at the Pamukele meet in Turkey. Interestingly, Brume’s 6.83m jump last season was also Nigeria and Africa’s best performance of the year.
Nigeria’s sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor made what was seen as a pedestrian performance at the Oslo Diamond League meeting earlier this month, where she placed seventh with a leap of 6.48m.