By Dare Esan:
Nigerian duo of Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and Ese Brume will attempt to make history Wednesday evening when they file out for the women’s long jump event of the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The two will be seeking to become the first Nigerian women pair to compete at the same championships for places in the final of the event and follow in the footsteps of their male counterparts Yusuf Ali and Paul Emordi who both competed in the semi-final and qualified for the final of the event in 1987 in Rome.
While Okagbare-Ighoteguonor will also be seeking to become the first Nigerian athlete to win two individual medals in the same event at two championships following her silver medal feat in Moscow, Russia four years ago at the 14th edition of the championships, Brume, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion, will be hoping to toe the path of Glory Alozie (100m hurdles in 1999) and Ajayi Agbebaku (triple jump in 1983) who mmade the podium on their debut at the
Brume, finalist in the event last year at the Rio Olympics, will also be seeking to become the fourth Nigerian to qualify for the final of the event after Christy Opara-Thompson in 1991, Chioma Ajunwa in 1997 and Okagbare in 2013.
For the duo to turn their dreams into reality however, they will have to hit the 6.70m qualification mark or be among the top 12 performers at the end of the qualifying series.
Meanwhile, Glory Onome Nathaniel was disqualified for a possible lane violation during the second semi-final heat of the women’s 400m hurdles.
The brave Nigerian who ran a new 55.30 seconds personal best in the first round looked sharp in the race and was in contention for a place in the final via the fastest losers slot after finishing fourth in the race in 55.40 seconds. A review of the race however showed she may have had a lane infringement and was subsequently disqualified to end her dream of becoming the first Nigerian woman to make the final of the 400m barrier run.
Henry Amike remains the only Nigerian man to have qualified and run in the final of the event. The Nigerian record holder in the event ran 48.63 seconds in Rome in 1987 at the second edition of the championships to place 6th in a race the great Edwin Moses of the US won with a 47.46 seconds championships record.