The duo of Chukwuebuka Enekewechi and Ese Brume, ensured Nigeria was well represented in Europe this weekend, producing outstanding and record breaking performances in their individual meets as they continue their preparations for the World Championships in Doha.
Enekwechi, set things rolling with a big 21.26m to finish 2nd behind Michal Haratyk, who equalled his National Record (NR) of 22.32m, at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Cetniewo, Poland.
The African Champion thus qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, having surpassed the 21.10m qualifying standard.
Though he had thrown farther with his PB of 21.77m at the IAAF World Challenge in Brazil back in April, it ironically was done just few days before the opening of the Olympic qualification window.
The 2018 Commonwealth silver medallist, will now join the likes of Blessing Okagbare, Divine Oduduru, Tobi Amusan, Raymond Ekevwo and Brume as the only Nigerian athletes to have qualified for the Olympics so far.
Meanwhile, Brume was in the best form of her life at the Turkish Open Trials, racing and jumping to massive Personal Best’s (PB) at the two-days championship.
She made her intentions known earlier in the 100m semis by clocking a PB of 11.50s, before bringing it lower in the final, with 11.41s for the win.
Less than 24hrs later she was back again in her trademark event, the Long Jump. The African Champion, joined the 7m club for the first time in her career by leaping to a jaw dropping 7.05m (+0.9m/s) on her first attempt, before a follow up series of 6.91m and 7.03m (+3.6) as her valid jumps.
Her mark is the second farthest distance by an African in history, behind Chioma Ajunwa’s African and National Record of 7.12m, set on her way to winning Gold at the 1996 Olympic Games.
Brume’s feat also seals the fact that the three African women ever to have gone above the 7m mark till date are Nigerians, the third being Okagbare with 7.00m & 7.14m (+2.2m/s).
With the World Championships already less than two months to kick off, there’s no denying the fact that Nigerian athletes are major medal prospects and Brume, may just spring one of the biggest surprises in the oil rich Qatari city.