Ese Brume has won silver at the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships, the first time Nigeria has returned to the podium since Olusoji Fasuba raced to 60m gold in Valencia in 2008.
She leapt a huge 6.85m personal season’s best in the third round to win the prize and finish behind the pre-championships favourite and homegirl Ivana Vuleta who took early command of the event with a 6.89m best in the second round before improving top 7.06m in the fourth round.
By that feat, the 25-year-old becomes the third Nigerian to win medals at World Athletics Championships indoors and out as well as at the Olympics behind Glory Alozie and late Sunday Bada. She is also the third long jumper to win a World Indoor title after Paul Emordi (1987) and Chioma Ajunwa (1997).
Brume began her quest for a podium finish with a 6.22m effort. She improved to 6.47m in the second round before her huge leap in the third that eventually landed her on the podium.
Further efforts to turn silver to gold were futile as she could only jump 6.66m, 6.76m, and 6.67m in the fourth, fifth and final round.
The feat moved her to the top of the African and Nigerian indoor list for the year, joint fourth in the African all-time list behind Chioma Ajunwa (6.97m), Blessing Okagbare (6.87m), and Sierra leone’s Eunice Barber (6.86m).
Meanwhile, Ruth Usoro set a new personal season’s best of 6.69m to place eighth in the final classification, a huge lift for the 24-year-old who has had an indifferent collegiate indoor season.
The Nigerian 4x400m relay team failed to make it to the final after running a personal season’s best time of 3:09.55.
With Brume’s silver medal win, Nigeria has now won 12 medals in the history of the Championships with two gold medals, seven silver, and three bronze.