Ese Brume, yesterday, became the first Nigerian field athlete to qualify for the final of the Diamond League, which is athletics’ premier one-day series, by jumping 6.71m at the 12th of the 14 leg league’s meetings in Xiamen, China.
The long jumper’s leap was enough to ensure a third place finish behind reigning world indoor and outdoor champion, Ivan Vuleta of Serbia, who set a 6.88m meeting record and Burkina Faso’s Marthe Koala, who jumped 6.79m, eight centimetres farther than the Nigerian.
For her effort, Brume earned six points and overall points total of 16 to secure her place as one of the six athletes that will compete in Oregon, USA, where the final of the event will hold for the first time in a fortnight.
For the first time, Nigeria will now have two athletes at the final of the Diamond League the same year.
Sprint hurdler, Tobi Amusan, made history in 2021 when she became the first Nigerian to win a Diamond League trophy. She successfully defended her title last year, running a 12.29 seconds meeting record at Weltklasse, Zurich.
This year, Amusan will be gunning to become the second woman after Dawn Harper-Nelson to win a hat-trick of Diamond League titles in the 100m hurdles.
Brume, on her own, will be seeking to become the second Nigerian to win a Diamond League trophy and the first to do it in a field event.
The African long-jump record holder will compete in the winner-takes-all final with Vuleta, Iapichino of Italy, USA’s Tara Davis-Woodhall, Brooke Buschkuehl of Australia and Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine.
Winner of each Diamond League discipline is awarded a prestigious “Diamond Trophy”, $30,000 prize money and a wild card for the World Athletics Championships.