Nigerians Should Keep Supporting Us, Says Olympian Ese Brume
One of the star athletes Team Nigeria is banking on for medals at the Tokyo Olympics, long jumper, Ese Brume has pleaded with Nigerians to continue to support the athletes as the Games officially begins today.
Brume, who was Nigeria’s only athlete in a final event at the last Olympics in Rio, Brazil 2016, has proved her status as one of the best horizontal jumpers in the world. Her African record setting 7.17m leap at the end of May is the farthest any long jumper has landed so far this year.
“The accommodation here is good, the food is nice and we are improving in our training,” Brume said via Facebook at the Athletes’ Games Village in Tokyo. “Nigerians should keep supporting us and we pray that at the end of the Games, we will get something good for our country.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobock Okowa, has charged the track and field team to rewrite their record of participation at the Olympics Games. Nigeria’s track and field team has failed to win a medal in the last two Olympics and Okowa believes the story will be different in Tokyo.
“I am confident our athletes will rewrite their record of participation at the event,” Okowa said. “The AFN has provided the enabling environment for the athletes and I am sure they will live up to our expectations.”
Okowa, who will be in Tokyo to support the athletes, based his optimism on the pre-Games form of the athletes and the huge support received from both the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Nigeria Olympic Committee.
‘’Ese Brume has proved her status as one of the best horizontal jumpers in the world,” Okowa added. “Our sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan, sprinters Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru and hammer thrower Annette Echikunwoke are world class athletes ranked among the top 10 in their events.”
“Enoch Adegoke and Grace Nwokocha are dark horses waiting to spring surprises. Our 4x100m relay team is the best we have ever assembled in terms of individual performances and should make it a hat-trick of Olympic medals in Tokyo.”
Okowa praised the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, for his efforts in getting the athletes ready.
“The Minister’s adopt-an-athlete initiative has proved a game changer,” Okowa highlighted. “For the first time in over two decades we have athletes who live here, train here and compete here achieve unprecedented feats.”
“Adegoke ran 10.00 seconds to win the 100m at the Olympic trials at YABATECH last month. It is the fastest legal time ever achieved by a home-based athlete on Nigerian track. I will be in Tokyo when I am done with arrangements for the preparations of our young athletes for the World Juniors in Nairobi, Kenya.”
Chidi Nwoke/The Guardian.