LAGOS – Nigeria’s hope of a podium finish in the ongoing 17th IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar will be on the trio of Chukwuebuka Enekwechi, Tobi Amusan and Ese Brume.
While Amusan and Brume will begin their race for medal in 100m Hurdles and women’s Long Jump respectively, Enekwechi, the first Nigerian man or woman to qualify for the final of the Shot Put in the Worlds, has an uphill task in the men’s final today.
With the Personal and Season Best of 21.80m, Eneckwechi who qualified for the final throwing 20.94m in his second attempt, will have to throw a high 22m to stand a chance of winning any medal.
He has American trio of Ryan Crouser (22.74m SB), Darrell Hill (22.35m SB) and Joe Kovacs (22.31 SB) to contend with. Aside these Americans, there is Brazilian Darlian Romani (22.61 SB), Polish Konrad Bukoweiecki (22.44 SB) and New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh (22.22m SB) to contend with.
But whatever his performance today, he has entered the country’s history book as the first Nigerian, man or woman to qualify for the Shot Put final.
“I am learning some new tricks; I am learning to deal with different factors. I think I am way more comfortable as a competitor than last year, and the year before, it’s a steady progression. I was so sad in London and the goal was not to be sad again,” said Enekwechi, after qualifying for the final.
For Brume, with a season best of 7.05m, to qualify for the final, she has to surpass the 6.75m qualifying mark set by the IAAF or at best be among the 12 best jumpers in today’s qualifying event.
Amusan, who is tipped for a podium finish in the hurdles event, will run in heat five today. She is expected to reach the semis holding on Sunday and the final also on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Nigeria crashed out of the men’s and women’s 4x100m events on Friday after placing 8th and 7th respectively in their respective sem-finals.