The dream of Nigeria’s Ese Brume to win an olympic medal ended on Thursday as she failed to fly in the final of the Rio 2016 women’s long jump event.
Brume, reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist finished fifth with a leap of 6.81m.
The Delta State-born athlete with a personal best of 6.83m before Rio 2016 was the only African who made it to the final of the event and also one of the 11 athletes who for the first time had jumped 6.58m or farther in an Olympic final after the last time of 6.69m was good enough for just eighth place at the Moscow 1980 Games.
Brume though missed the podium but her brilliance saw her finish ahead of top jumpers like Estonia’s Ksenija Balta who placed sixth with 6.79m; Australian Brooke Stratton (6.74m); and Britain’s Jazmin Sawyers who completed the top eight with a best of 6.69m.
Meanwhile, defending Olympic champion and a six-time world champion, Brittney Reese, was beaten this time to the gold by Tianna Bartoletta, who jumped a personal best of 7.17m in her fifth attempt.
Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic settled for the bronze with a leap of 7.08m, which serves as her country’s new record as Malaika Mihambo followed with 6.95m jump.
“I couldn’t really celebrate,” said Bartoletta, who won her first global title back in 2005. “I kept thinking that at any moment someone can jump something huge. Then, when I won, I realised that I have to be back in the morning for the relay.”
Reese, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” she said. “I’ve been through a lot these past two years, emotionally and physically, battling back from surgery. Tianna just outjumped me this time. She deserves it and I’m just glad to be on the podium again.”