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Athletes Storm Benin for Commonwealth Games Qualifiers

Brume eyes another Commonwealth gold

Nigeria’s Ese Brume reacts as she competes in the women’s long jump final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Javier SORIANO / AFP)

Eight years after striking gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, long jumper, Ese Brume, is targeting another gold medal for Team Nigeria at the event this year in Birmingham, England.

Few athletes guarantee medals for their country like Brume. Since she broke into limelight in 2013, Brume has won a medal at every major championship she attended. She became the first Nigerian to win an Olympics medal in athletics in 13 years after grabbing a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

On March 22, this year, Brume won Nigeria’s only medal, a silver, at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, leaping to a new Personal Best of 6.85m.

Now, her focus is on winning the gold for Nigeria, when hostilities begin at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Speaking with The Guardian from her base in the United States, yesterday, Brume said she is in good shape for all major competitions, starting with the Senior African Athletics Championship in Mauritius.

“I am in good shape here,” Brume told The Guardian. “I will be available for the African Championships in Mauritius, the World Championships in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games, but that will depend on the AFN.”

In 2018, the then AFN leadership prevented Brume from defending her Commonwealth Games title at the Gold Coast, Australia, when her name was excluded from Team Nigeria’s 37-man athletes list.

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Brume, who was Nigeria’s only athlete in the final of any event at the Rio 2016 Olympics, broke into limelight in 2013 when she won two gold and one silver medals at the African Junior Athletics Championship in Mauritius.

“It will be a thing of joy for me to return to Mauritius for the African Senior Athletics Championship next month,” Brume said.

MEANWHILE, home-based athletes have gathered in Benin City, Edo State, for the AFN final Classics, which will hold this morning at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

The event was originally scheduled for Awka, Anambra State, to further test ability of home-based athletes ahead of the African Championships in Mauritius, World Championships in Oregon and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. A source in the AFN hinted that the event in Awka was aborted due to ‘security risk’ in the Southeast.

Another official told The Guardian that apart from the issue of insecurity, the non-availability of some key facilities, including circle for the throwing events and range for long jump at the newly completed stadium in Awka, also discouraged the AFN for holding the event.

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The chairman of Edo State Sports Commission, former long jumper, Yusuf Alli told The Guardian, yesterday that all necessary measures had been put in place to make today’s event at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium hitch free.

The 2022 African Senior Athletics Championship, which was originally slated for Stade Olympique d’Oran in Algeria, will hold between June 8 and12 at brand-new Côte d’Or National Sports Complex in Mauritius, which is considered one of the best technical stadiums in Africa.

The World Championship in Oregon, U.S., is slated for July 15 to 25, while the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham will hold between July 28 and August 8.

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