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The 2019 African Games champion in the 100 metres, Raymond Ekevwo, has revealed his biggest dream in athletics.
The US based Nigerian sprinter Ekevwo, in a chat with LEADERSHIP sports, said his dream is to become a source of inspiration to upcoming athletes and also an Olympic gold medalist.
‘’Everybody dreams as an athlete to go Olympic, world athletics championship and compete at the biggest stage in the track and field events and be on the podium which is what I want so bad’’ he said.
‘’But my innermost desire, is to be a source of inspiration to most of the upcoming athletes to make them get better and also for me to win Olympic gold medals’’.
Ekevwo became the fifth Nigerian man to win the African Games title in the 100m after he set a new African Games record with an impressive 9.96 seconds ahead of Côte d’Ivoire’s Arthur Cisse, he lamented how the spread of coronavirus has affected his season adding that despite the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic, he is optimistic of a podium finish performance at the world showpiece.
‘’Every athlete is affected by the postponement of the Olympic but it is in the best interest of us and everybody in the world, because if you’re unhealthy there is no way you can perform, so everyone should just look out for themselves’’.
‘’I will go out there and try to do my best because I always run with my heart, I will do my role as an athlete and a competitor for Nigeria, also we need support from Nigeria that the government and the people.
‘’Coach Mike Holloway understands everything about me and also understands my body, he knows what to do to get me to my best shape, so as time goes on you see more of coach Holloway in me’’.
According to him ‘’I was having a good season, before COVID 19 lockdown, it has been the best in my career, so was kind of painful, but at same it’s has given me time for me to understand myself better and work on the areas I need to improve on, the NCAA event also has been helpful for me to improve’’.
He also called on the government to develop the grassroots so as to catch young talents and nurture them to stardom.
‘’Am excited that we have good athletes and coaches in Nigeria, but the most important thing is to get support from the government because the coaches are doing well, even though they are not world-class coaches but with the little resources and the working environment they can be able to get athletes who can go and face the world in any competition’’.
‘’If the government can provide more funding, competitions and support system for the athletes and coaches that should be a good way to build athletes from the grassroots’’.
The 21-year old Delta State-born athlete was also a member of the Nigerian 4 × 100 m relay team that won a silver medal at the 2019 African Games, said he wished to play as a professional footballer after retiring from track and field.
‘’If not athletes I will be a soccer player, growing up I used to be really good in soccer but you know in Africa not only in Nigeria it is difficult to get to the top, but running tracks is what you give that’s the result you get that’s why I decided to do track.
After my career in athletics if I get an offer to play soccer I will not refuse it, so people should not be surprised to see me play soccer in years to come’’ he concluded.