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World Athletics: Ese, Amusan carry Nigeria’s medal hopes

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Nigeria’s medal hopes at the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Oregon, United States has shifted to long jumper, Ese Brume and hurdler, Tobi Amusan following the failure by the country’s male sprinters to complement the brilliant performance of the mixed relay team.

Team Nigeria officials are also hoping on the women’s 4x100m relay team to grab a medal. 

Last Friday, on Day One of the championship, Nigeria’s mixed relay team, made up of Patience Okon-George, Imaobong Nse Uko, Dubem Amene and Samson Nathaniel, made history by placing sixth in its second outing at a major competition, despite being rated 15th out of 16 participating countries in Oregon 2022.

Then, attention shifted to men’s 100m, where the efforts of Favour Ashe and Remond Ekevwo could not get to the medals zone. 

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Nigeria’s Ashe placed fifth in semifinal on Saturday morning. Shot Putter, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, who placed eighth in 2019 in Doha, was in the final. It was decided on Sunday night in the United States, which is early this morning in Nigeria.

The 4x100m relay for both men and women will begin on July 22, while the duo of Brume and Amusan will start their individual events on July 23.

Brume, bronze medalist at the last edition of the World Championships in Doha, Qatar three years ago, will be aiming to become the first Nigerian athlete to win medals at two editions of the event. On her part, Amusan, who was fourth three years ago in Doha, will be seeking to become the second Nigerian sprint hurdler to win a medal at the Championships after Glory Alozie, who won a silver medal in Seville, Spain in 1999.

Nigeria is also looking forward to the likes of women sprinter, Favour Ofili and Rosemary Chukwuma, to do well in the 200m event, same as the reigning World U20 200m champion, Udodi Onwuzurike. He could not make it beyond the heat in the 100m.

Another World U-20 champion, Imaobong Nse Uko, who was part of the history making Nigeria’s Mixed Relay team on Friday, will be competing later in the 400m event.

Nigeria’s triple jump champion and record holder, Ruth Usoro, will hope to do well in the long jump event beginning on July 23. AFN Performance Director and Team Leader at Oregon 2022 World.

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