Athletics: Team Nigeria’s Medal Hope Falls On Women

By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.

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Nigeria’s hope for medals at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Oregon has fallen on the women representing the nation, particularly long jumper Ese Brume and Hurdler Tobi Amusan, after the failure by their male athletes to complement the brilliant performance of the mixed relay team.

On Day One of the championships on Friday, Nigeria’s mixed relay team made up of Patience Okon-George, Imaobong Nse Uko, Dubem Amene and Samson Nathaniel, made history by placing sixth in its second outing at a major competition, despite being rated 15th out of 16 participating countries in Oregon.

Then, attention shifted to the men’s 100m event, where the efforts of Favour Ashe and Remond Ekevwo could not get to the medals zone. Nigeria’s Ashe placed fifth in semifinal on Saturday morning.  Shot Putter Chukwuebuka Enekwechi’s throw of 20.16m and 20.65m, was not enough to land him a spot in the final rounds of the event.

The 4x100m relay for both men and women will begin on July 22, while the duo of Brume and Amusan will start their individual events on July 23.

Ese Brume

Bronze medallist at the last edition of the World Championships in Doha, Brume, will be aiming to become the first Nigerian athlete to win medals at two editions of the event.

On her part, Amusan, who was fourth three years ago in Doha, will be seeking to become the second Nigerian sprint hurdler to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships after Glory Alozie, who won a silver medal in Seville, Spain in 1999.

Nigerian sprint hurdler Tobi Amusan will be representing the nation at the World Athletics Championship in Eugene, USA.

Nigerians are also looking forward to the likes of women sprinter, Favour Ofili and Rosemary Chukwuma, to do well in the 200m event.

Another World U-20 champion, Imaobong Nse Uko, who was part of the history making Nigeria’s Mixed Relay team on Friday, will be competing later in the 400m event.

Nigeria’s triple jump champion and record holder, Ruth Usoro, will hope to do well in the long jump event beginning on July 23.

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