Ese Brume picks long jump gold, Olajide, Ekanem, Akintola hit 200m final

World silver medalist in the long jump, Ese Brume, yesterday, lived up to her ratings as African best jumper, winning the gold medal at the ongoing 13th African Games in Ghana.
Brume delivered the gold with a leap of 6.92m in her first jump.

Before the long jump event, yesterday, many athletics followers had tipped U.S.-based Nigerian, Ruth Usoro as the athlete to beat in the event following her impressive performance this season.

Brume and Usoro had met 16 times at the long jump pit since they first faced off in April 2014 with Brume victorious in all including the final of the World Indoor Championships in 2022, Commonwealth Games also in 2022, the World Outdoor Championships in 2023 and last at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in New York.

At the end of the long jump event yesterday, it was Brume who smiled last, while Usoro finished outside the medal zone. Brume thus became the first Nigerian woman since 1978 (after Modupe Oshikoya, 1973 and 1978) to successfully defend a long jump title.
Another Nigerian jumper, Justina Uchologor picked the bronze medal.

Meanwhile, Olayinka Olajide will battle The Gambia’s Gina Bass for the 200m gold medal after the 21-year-old qualified for her second individual final, yesterday, in Ghana. Olajide ran 23.51 to win her semi-final heat and will be seeking to upset the defending champion, Bass who ran 23.42 to win the first semi-final heat.

Congo’s Ngoye Akamabi however ran the fastest qualifying time of 23.25 to put herself as one of the hot contenders for the gold yesterday.

Olajide is seeking to become the fifth Nigerian woman to win the gold medal in the event and the first since 2011 when Damola Osayomi successfully defended her half lap title, which she won in 2007.

For the men, Consider Ekanem is also in his second individual final at the Games and will be seeking to make the podium, this time, after missing out in the 100m.

The 19-year-old ran 20.92 to come second behind IB Claude Emmanuel, who won in 20.82. Another Nigerian, Alaba Akintola also sped into today’s final, winning the third semi-final in 21.00 secs.

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