Godson Brume will be in Budapest despite withdrawal, says federation
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is still hoping that the provisional suspension of reigning world 100m hurdles record holder, Tobi Amusan, would be lifted on time for her to make the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
The federation, yesterday, included her name, and that of U.S.-based sprinter, Godson Brume, on the list of athletes that will fly the nation’s flag in Budapest.
The competition will run from August 19 to 27. The AFN had earlier planned to unveil Team Nigeria’s list to Budapest at the weekend, but shelved the plan hoping for ‘good news’ to come from the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
Even when nothing has been heard from AIU concerning Amusan’s clearance yesterday, the AFN decided to include her name because “we have to submit the list to Budapest latest by 12 midnight today (yesterday). We have included Tobi’s name until AIU decides on her fate,” AFN Technical Director, Samuel Onikeku, told The Guardian.
The AIU handed Amusan a provisional suspension for three whereabouts failures last month, which saw the Nigerian dropping from the third spot in her event three weeks ago to 11th position in the world ranking.
She has not been able to compete since she ran 12.35 seconds at the Istvan Guylai Memorial in Szekesfehervar, Hungary, on July 18.
The AFN said it decided to include U.S.-based sprinter, Godson Brume, in the list despite reports that he has pulled out of the championships.
The 20-year-old, who helped Nigeria’s 4x100m relay team to qualify for the championships and was scheduled to run in the 100m event, took to his twitter page to announce his withdrawal in the early hours of yesterday.
“I want to thank everyone who supported me. This is a hard decision for me, but after much consideration, I have decided to focus on getting healthy for next year… with that being said, I will not be competing in Budapest this August.”
Some athletics followers see Brume’s withdrawal as a big blow to Nigeria’s aspiration to win a 4x100m relay medal for the first time since 1997, but the AFN said yesterday that it would not remove his name from the list.
“We don’t really know what has happened between last Thursday and now, but we are trying to establish contact with him. I am sure we will talk it over with him; Godson Brume will be part of our team in Budapest,” Onikeku stated.
Brume was at the AFN secretariat in Abuja, last Thursday, in company of other athletes and officials, who were seeking their visas to Budapest.
The sprinter ran a 9.90secs lifetime best over the 100m on his way to winning the silver medal at the 2023 NCAA outdoor championships last June.
The time, the fastest run by a Nigerian since Divine Oduduru ran 9.86secs in 2019, is also the third fastest by a Nigerian over the distance behind Olusoji Fasuba and Oduduru.
The Guardian learnt, yesterday, that the AFN listed home-based stars, Samuel Ogazi and Oke Opeyemi, among the athletes that would carry the nation’s flag in Budapest.
Others on the list include U.S.-based Favour Ashe, Alaba Akintola, Nathaniel Ezekiel, Raphael Egbuchulem, Rosemary Chukwuma, Ofili Favour, Tima Godbless, Faith Okwose, Tiana Eyakpobeyen, Uko Imaobong, Patience George, Ella Onojuvwevwo, Ruth Usoro and Success Umukoro.