Team Nigeria’s long wait for a medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics finally ended on Tuesday with Ese Brume winning the Bronze in the Women’s Long Jump event.
Brume with her best leap of 6.97m settled for the bronze behind World champion Malaika Mihambo who snatched the gold with her very last jump of 7.00m.
United States’ Brittney Rees who also had a best jump of 6.97m picked the silver medal ahead of Brume with the countback rule.
This is Nigeria’s first medal in athletics at the Olympic Games in 13 years.
Tuesday’s final started on a bright note for Brume as she took the lead with her very first jump which was a distance of 6.97m.
However, Brume could not improve on that bright start with her subsequent attempts.
Brume, who is the African record holder in the women’s Long Jump event, had qualified for the final stage on Sunday with a jump of 6.76m, 1cm more than the required mark.
She finished with the fourth overall best jump among the finalists but stepped up her game in Tuesday’s final to win Nigeria’s first medal.
Brume was Nigeria’s sole representative in the jumps in Tokyo since the disqualification of Ruth Usoro by the Athletics Integrity Unit. It is worthy to note that Brume was Nigeria’s only medalist at the last World Championship in Doha, where she also won a bronze.
Having broken the long-standing 7.12m record of Chioma Ajunwa in the build-up to the Olympic Games, expectations were high she could also deliver gold like the police officer did 25 years ago in Atlanta but that did not happen.
Apart from Ajunwa’s gold in Atlanta, Blessing Okagbare also won a silver medal in the Olympic Long Jump event at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
With Brume’s Bronze, Nigeria has completed the cycle of winning all three categories of medals in the Women’s Long Jump event.