NIGERIA’S lone medallist at Doha 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championship, Ese Brume, says she needs the support of Nigerian government to be able to achieve her aim of winning a medal in this year’s Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan. Team Nigeria was on the verge of missing out on the medals table once again before Brume rescued a ‘golden bronze’ in Doha with a jump of 6.91m, her second-longest career jump.
Brume became the first Nigerian athlete since 2013 to win a medal at the World Athletics Championship. She also made history as the second Nigerian woman to make the podium in the event after Blessing Okagbare leaped a distance of 6.99m to grab a silver medal behind USA’s Brittney Reese (7.01m). Brume is also the third Nigerian after Okagbare and Chioma Ajunwa to make the final of the long jump event.
The long jumper is on her final year programme with Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta in North Cyprus, studying Tourism and Hospitality management.
Before she returned to her base in North Cyprus, Brume told The Guardian that she would give the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games the best focus it deserves, but added that the Nigerian government had a huge role to play.
“Olympics Games is the biggest sporting event in the world and I will do everything possible to give it the best attention. But our government has a great role to play by giving us (athletes) the financial and morale support we need to excel at the games. We need money to take care of so many things, and it will be good if the government can come in as early as possible.
“I have heard of some moves by the current minister of sports (Sunday Dare) to prepare Nigerian athletes adequately for the Olympics, but I will advise that such moves must start as quickly as possible so that Nigeria can reap its benefits. I want the country do away with those last minute approach, which has not done our sports any good in the past. We also need financial support from the corporate organisations and sports-loving individuals,” Brume stated.
As of 2014, Brume was relatively unknown in the African track and field circle. But she took the entire Commonwealth nations by surprise when she beat all senior competitors in the race for the gold medal in the long jump event in Glasgow, Scotland.
A few days later, Brume made Team Nigeria’s contingent to the African Senior Athletics Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, where she also won a gold medal.
While Brume was able to defend her African championship title two years later at Durban, South Africa 2016, unnecessary envy on the part of some AFN officials and coaches denied her the opportunity of defending her Commonwealth Games’ title in Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018.
As expected, Brume’s morale dropped following the psychological impact of not defending her long jump title in Gold Coast, though she did not allow frustration to weigh her down.