Nigeria’s chances of finishing with medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have received a significant boost after the trio of Enoch Adegoke, Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume all qualified for the finals of the men’s 100m, women’s 100m hurdles and Long Jump, respectively.
Enoch Adegoke had earlier joined an exclusive club of Nigerian male sprinters to have gone below the 10-second mark in a 100m sprint to qualify for the semifinals. He competed in Semifinal 2 of the event and finished in second place with a time of 10.00 seconds behind Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, who came first with a time of 9.98 seconds to qualify alongside the Nigerian. Adegoke’s compatriot and fellow qualifier Usheoritse Itsekiri finished in seventh place in Semifinal 1 with a time of 10.29 seconds to miss out on a place in the finals of the event. Adegoke is the first Nigerian to reach the finals of the men’s 100m event at the Olympics since Davidson Ezinwa achieved the feat in 1996 at the Atlanta Games, before Adegoke was even born.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Nigeria’s Oluwatobiloba Amusan qualified for the finals of the event after emerging in first place in Semifinal 1 of the event, finishing with a time of 12.62 seconds to become the first Nigerian woman to qualify for the finals of the women’s 100m hurdles since Glory Alozie at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
2018 Commonwealth gold medalist Ese Brume booked her place in the finals of the women’s Long Jump event after a leap of 6.76m was sufficient to give her a ticket to the finals. The experienced campaigner leapt to a distance of 6.68m in her first attempt before failing to meet up in her second leap as she could only reach 6.55m with her second attempt, putting her at risk of missing out on the final, whose qualifying leap had been pegged at 6.75m. She, however, leapt to a distance of 6.76m with her third and final attempt to qualify for the finals of the event. The finals will hold on Tuesday, August 3rd.