As the World Athletics Championship enters its sixth day, attention of many sports-loving Nigerians will be focused on two athletes, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and Ese Brume in the long jump event today.
The Cyprus-based Brume, with a personal best jump of 6.83m and season best of 6.64m is in Group A, while Okagbare is in Group B.
Although both Okagbare and Brume failed to meet the 6.75m qualification standard set for the long jump event in the 2017 IAAF Championship, Brume had declared before jetting out from Lagos a few days ago that anything could happen in London
“I am going to London to do my best for the country and I am optimistic of returning home with a good result,” the Commonwealth and African champion told The Guardian in a telephone chat.
Reigning Nigerian sprint queen, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor leapt a rather pedestrian 6.48m at the Oslo Diamond League meeting to book her qualification to London.
Having failed to make it to the final of the 100m race, Okagbare is expected to use the long jump to put smiles on the faces of her family members and fans back home.
It is her fourth competitive appearance at the championships, and anything short of a podium performance will not be good for Okagbare.
The Nigerians must find a way to outplace USA’s duo of Brittney Reese and Tianna Bartoletta, as well as Ivana Spanovic of Serbia (7.24m) and Shara Proctor of Great Britain.