Nigeria’s most successful sprinter this season, Godson Brume, may have been shut out of Team Nigeria’s squad to the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, following his absence at the ongoing national trials in Benin City, Edo State.
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) had declared a few days ago that any athlete, who failed to attend the national trials should consider himself/herself out of the team to Budapest.
The event started inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, yesterday, with other foreign-based athletes in attendance, but Brume was nowhere to be found.
It was learnt yesterday that Godson Brume missed his flight four times. An official of the AFN told The Guardian after the morning session yesterday that Brume’s absence means he is out of the team to Budapest.
“We are very strict about it,” the official said. “This is not the first time Godson Brume is doing this. How can he miss his flight four times? We were told his school keeps paying money to renew the flight, yet he missed the opportunity. That shows his level of unseriousness.
“It was the same attitude during the Commonwealth Games. We will hold a meeting later, but I am afraid he is out of our team to the World Championships.”
Explaining her brother’s absence from Benin, the sprinter’s older sister, World Championships silver medalist, Ese Brume, said Godson should not be blamed entirely for his no-show.
“He got to Washington, but could not fly to Nigeria due to some issues. He didn’t miss his flight four times. He has been communicating with AFN and I just pray they will have reason to allow him.
“He had problems getting across to me, while I was on my way to Sweden for the Diamond League. I have booked another ticket for him and he is airborne to Nigeria to get his visa for World Championships,” Ese stated.
Brume defeated world silver medalist and multiple Olympians at the LSU Alumni Gold, clocking a brilliant 9.97s (2.3), making him the first Nigerian sprinter to run a sub-10s time this season.
Brume captained Team Nigeria to the 2021 World U-20 Athletics Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, where the nation’s athletes won some gold medals. He later gained a student-athlete scholarship to study at the Louisiana State University (LSU).
Things didn’t go in his favour in his freshman year, being plagued with injuries and only managing to reduce his PB by 0.01s, from 10.13s to 10.12s.
Brume started the 2023 season with a bang, breaking his 60m PB in almost every meet, eventually ending the indoor season with a lifetime best of 6.60s from 6.89s in 2021 and a bronze medal at the SEC Indoor Championships.
According to the AFN, Brume’s absence at the ongoing trials won’t affect Nigeria’s chances of picking a World Championships ticket in the 4x100m relay qualification event.
“We have capable athletes for our 4x100m relay qualification race,” the official stated, yesterday.
Also absent from the trials and out of the World Championships’ team are Rosemary Chukwuma and Favour Ofilli.
Meanwhile, former Super Eagles midfielder, Bright Omokaro, popularly known as 10-10, was among dignitaries that graced the opening ceremony of the national trials at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, yesterday.