Ese Brume yesterday erased Chioma Ajunwa’s African Women’s Long Jump record set in winning the event’s gold medal at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
The Delta-born athlete who was barely eight months old baby back in 1996 when Ajunwa conjured that feat to win Nigeria’s first and only individual Olympic gold medal, early hours of yesterday at the Chula Vista Field Festival in the city of Chula Vista, Southern California, replaced the flying policewoman’s 7.12m with a new 7.17m African record.
With less than 60 days to the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, global focus has now shifted to Brume as sure candidate for podium placement in Japan.
Her 7.17m has moved her to become the world leader in the event and world all-time listing at 22nd. Ajunwa is 32nd with Brume’s mentor, Blessing Okagbare 70th.
After Ajunwa’s gold feat in Atlanta, Okagbare followed up with a bronze at the Beijing Games 2008. That bronze was nine years later upgraded to a silver after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped Russia’s Tatiana Lebedeva of the silver medal in the women’s Long Jump event for dope infraction.
Prior to the meeting in Southern California early hours of Sunday, Brume did not serve any notice of another 7m+ jump so soon after becoming the third Nigerian woman to hit the magical 7m mark in August 2019 in Bursa, Turkey as four days earlier at the USTAF Invitational meeting in Prairie View, Texas, she leapt to a 6.61m personal season’s best in the event.
With gold medals from Commonwealth Games (Glasgow 2014), All Africa Games (Morocco 2019) and African Championships, bronze at the last World Athletics Championships (Doha 2019) and a fifth place finish at the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brume appears set to emulate Ajunwa as the countdown to Tokyo 2020 begins.