After adding the 2019 African Games men’s Shot Put title to the African Athletics Championship title he won in Asaba last year, US-based Chukwuebuka Enekwechi said that he has learnt a lot in 2019 that will help his career.
How does it feel winning the African Games title?
It feels great. I didn’t think I was in the best shape to achieve what I did, but if you look at the series, every time I throw, I kept improving on my last throw. I don’t know where it came from but sometimes it is one’s mental attitude.
At times you will be physically ready or unprepared, but if your mind can take it, then you will have a performance you can be proud of.
You won the African championship in Asaba last year and now another gold in Morocco. Are we looking at another podium finish at the World Championships later in the year and at the Olympics next year?
I can’t predict something like that but definitely I am working towards doing well at the World Championships, and also at the Olympics.
At times you will be physically ready or unprepared, but if your mind can take it, then you will have a performance you can be proud of
What has 2019 done to you as an athlete?
I will say it has been quite an experience. I knew how to travel better and compete better even when I am not in great shape. For example, I threw 21.80m two weeks ago, and I was not picking, but I didn’t crucify myself.
So far in 2019, I have had about 15 competitions, and with each one I learn something new. There was a time I had problem throwing 21m, but I knew what to do once I went back home and back to training, changed my diet, changed my lifting and it has been a learning experience for me all the way.
How easy or difficult has it been competing for Nigeria?
There are many challenges that people have never seen before, that Nigerian athletes will face regularly, but at the end of the day, there is a family aspect to it that I love. I have seen some good days and some bad, but i am still here doing well for the country.
I have had about 15 competitions, and with each one I learn something new
More Nigerian athletes appear to be moving to the US. Do you relate with the foreign-based more than those back at home?
There are many challenges that people have never seen before, that Nigerian athletes will face regularly, but at the end of the day, there is a family aspect to it that I love
We have similar struggles, similar desire and goals, we are all here for the same reason. I don’t think there is a big gap at all between the foreign-based and the home-based.
Maybe there might be difference of expression, because we grew up in different environments, but we are all focusing on one goal, we all practice all together and sports is one thing that unites us.