Wrestling 53kg women World number 2, Odunayo Adekuoroye, has described the recent Adopt-an-Athlete initiative by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development as good news for athletes preparing for the Olympics. Excerpt…
What will you say about the recent Adopt-an-Athlete initiative by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development?
I am grateful and happy to hear about it. It is good news to all athletes and I know it will translate to a good outing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for all the athletes and the country will be better for it.
How are you preparing for the Olympic Games and what should be the expectation from you?
I believe I am going for gold. I made many mistakes at the World Level this year, and still went ahead to get the bronze. So, if I correct my mistakes as I prepare for competitions in the New Year, I am not match rusty and with the help of God, all things are possible.
What can you say about sports in 2019 in Nigeria?
The athletes tried their best especially at the world level. We had two bronze medals this year which is okay compared to the previous years that I was the only one that won at the World level. Also, seeing Ese Brume also winning a medal at the Athletics World Championships, shows that we have improved.
Your thoughts about 2019 as an athlete?
It was a good year for me. I won a gold medal at the German Grand Prix. I was at the World Ranking series in Istanbul where I also won a gold, I was also at the World Championship and I won a bronze. I will say it was a very good year for me.
What would you say to others trying to qualify for the Olympic Games?
They should train well and put in a lot of hard work, with the help of the government and private individuals sponsoring them to competitions, I think they will qualify.
After your adoption, do you think it will much of the pressure off you preparing for the Games?
Yeah, it will because what I really lacked before was funding. But with such money coming in, I will be able to focus on preparations. It’s a very good way for me to go.
What Championships do you have ahead of the Games?
I just came back from the US and by January, I will be leaving for Italy for the first World rankings series tournament. In February I will be going for the African Championships where I will defend my title. By March I will be in Algeria. Those are the ones on the card at the moment. The rest will be available after the Algeria trip.