Enekwechi, Usoro, Ashe, Ogunlewe, Itshekiri to open campaign tomorrow
World Championships’ silver medallist, Ese Brume, arrived in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday, with a promise not to disappoint Nigerians in the 19th edition of the competition.
The Budapest 2023 World Championship will begin at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest tomorrow and Brume is one of the athletes scheduled to open Nigeria’s campaign for medals.
The Delta State-born long jumper is making her fourth straight appearance in the championships since her debut in London in 2017.
Speaking with pressmen from Istanbul, Turkey, while waiting to connect a flight to Budapest, Brume said: “I am going to the championships to give my best. I won’t disappoint Nigerians, and I pray that God should give me the strength to achieve my goal in Budapest.”
At the last edition of the championship in Oregon, United States, Brume captured a silver medal to make it double celebration for Team Nigeria after Tobi Amusan had set a new World Record and took a gold medal in the 100m hurdles.
The silver medal at Oregon made Brume the first Nigerian to win in two straight World Championships’ medals, after grabbing a bronze medal at Qatar 2019.
With Nigerians still waiting for Amusan’s clearance by the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) to enable her to compete in the Championships, Brume remains Nigeria’s best bet for a podium appearance.
The African long jump record holder, with a Personal Best of 7.17m, has been battling to regain full fitness after an indifferent outdoor campaign leading to the Championships.
If Brume rises to the occasion like she did in the past and strikes gold, she will become the first Nigerian track and field star to win in all three categories of medals at the championships.
Another Nigerian long jumper, Ruth Usoro, will also compete on the opening day, just as sprinters, Seye Ogunlewe, Ushoritse Itshekiri and Favour Ashe.
Three-time Nigerian and reigning African Shot-Put king, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, will also be on parade for medals on Saturday.
Enekwechi, who is making his third appearance at the Championships, will be looking forward to a podium finish, and also the history books, as the first Nigerian to do so in the Shot-Put event.
In Doha, Qatar 2019, Enekwechi made history as the first to make the final of the event, finishing eighth in the final classification and went home with a cash prize of $4,000. But at the last edition held in Oregon, he finished three places lower.
Ranked 14th best so far this season, the 30-year-old Enekwechi knows he needs to break the 22m mark and become the 10th man to hit above that mark this season to stand a chance of winning a medal in Budapest.
The final of the Shop Put event will hold later on Saturday evening.