TEAM Nigeria’s athletes training in Atlanta, the United States (U.S.) has been urged to surpass the feats of Falilat Ogunkoya, Chidi Imoh, Olapade Adeniken, Mary Onyali and other Nigerian greats at the London 2012 Olympics slated for July 27 to August 12.
Speaking during a visit to the athletes’ camp, American legend, Kevin Curtis Young, who won the 400 metres hurdles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and set a world record and Olympic record of 46.78 seconds, said the athletes have what it takes to supersede their predecessors’ feats.
Young, now a motivational speaker, came to Team Nigeria’s camp in Atlanta to inspire the athletes based on his cordial relationship with the national athletics coach, Innocent Egbunike.
He said: “Falilat Ogunkoya, Olapade Adenikan, Mary Onyali, Chidi Imoh and others are just a few of Nigerian athletes that have achieve great things in track and field either at the Olympics Games or some other levels, but you guys could be greater if you set your minds at it.
“The environment here is excellent for your training, and you guys are lucky to have a great man like Innocent Egbunike as coach. He was a great athlete and now a great coach, who has coached many athletes to win Olympic medals. I am sure many of you will be medallists in London. Set your minds at winning, not looking at obstacles.”
He added: “I urged you to set personal goals, train hard towards reaching your potentials and rehearse your victory lap in practice.”
As an athlete, throughout the 1992 season prior to Barcelona Olympics, Young placed small pieces of paper with “46.89 seconds” in each running spike and mentally convinced himself that running under 47 seconds was not impossible and he did. And now he urged Nigerians to do same.