Long jump sensation Ese Brume has accused the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development of “not helping” the country’s athletes in their quest to win laurels for Nigeria and called for improved support enable athletes prepare well ahead of next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Three-time African champion Brume is one of Nigeria’s medal hopes at the rescheduled Olympics and solidified her prospects for a podium place when she won Nigeria’s only medal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, last year, claiming bronze in the women’s long jump event with a mark of 6.91m.
It is the first time Nigeria has won a medal at the competition since 2013.
Brume also set a new African mark in women’s long jump last month after she leapt an astonishing 7.17 metres at the Chula Vista Festival to shatter Chioma Ajunwa’s 25-year African record.
Her feats, Brume says, can be replicated in international competitions by many more Nigerian athletes if only the crisis-ridden AFN and sports ministry begin reverse years of non-support and start placing athletes’ welfare and development first.
“I would like to say to the (sports) ministry and also to the federation that they should try to support us because, really, they are not helping,” the 23-year-old 2014 Commonwealth champion said.
“God has made it possible for me and I believe by the grace of God, He will make it possible for the others as well.
“But I want them (AFN and sports ministry) to improve on their support for us because they are not helping us at all.”
Brume’s call follows the consistent inadequate preparations and poor welfare of the country’s athletes especially before and during major tournaments, with the AFN citing paucity of funds in most cases.