After facing setbacks at the last World Championships in Budapest, Nigerian athletes Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume are eager to regain their form and end the athletics season on a high note. They have an opportunity to do so at The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, which marks the culmination of the 2023 Wanda Diamond League season.
The disappointment from the previous World Championships in Budapest, where Nigeria failed to secure any medals, is still fresh in the minds of athletes and fans alike. The Nigerian team, comprised of 23 athletes, had high hopes of improving on their performance from the previous edition in Eugene, where they secured a gold and a silver medal. However, they were unable to replicate that success in Budapest, leaving without any medals.
Ese Brume, a two-time World Championship medalist, was expected to contend for a podium finish in Budapest, particularly in the women’s long jump. Unfortunately, she fell just short of the medals on that occasion.
Tobi Amusan, the defending champion and world record holder in the women’s 100m hurdles, also carried high expectations. Despite her suspension by the World Athletics Athletes Integrity Unit and limited training, Amusan made it to Budapest and reached the final, surprising many.
The President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tonobok Okowa, acknowledged the inadequate preparation leading up to Budapest, attributing it to a lack of funds. He expressed hope that with a sports minister in place, the AFN would receive the necessary support and funding to adequately prepare Nigerian athletes for upcoming competitions, including the Olympics and the Africa Games in the following year.
Okowa emphasized the importance of proper preparation for athletes to compete effectively against others from well-funded and well-prepared teams from different countries. He expressed confidence that with adequate support, Nigerian athletes could return to the podium in future competitions.
As Amusan and Brume gear up for The Prefontaine Classic in Oregon, they carry the hopes of a nation eager to see them shine and overcome the challenges they faced in Budapest, aiming for redemption and a strong finish to the season.