Fiaku Ezechukwuchiri

Fiaku Ezechukwuchiri, 16-year-old high jump prodigy, says his invitation to the national athletics camp is a huge morale booster for him.

Ezechukwuchiri, the current national record holder in Under-18 High Jump with a personal best performance, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Thursday.

NAN reports that Ezechukwuchiri joined 54 other athletes to the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) national camp in Asaba, Delta State, for preparations ahead of Africa Under-18 and Under-20 championships, scheduled to hold in Ndola, Zambia, late April. 

Ezechukwuchiri said he had always dreamt of being an Olympian since he took interest in sports and high jump specifically, about eight years ago when he was in primary school.

The lanky jumper said he would not only prepare to emerge top in Zambia but endeavour to sustain performance till he hits the world stage.

“I am happy with this invitation, it is a huge encouragement to me, I am going to do the best for my country and for myself.

“I  still have my eyes on the Olympics, I want to take my career to the top,” he said.

Ezechukwuchiri commended Johnny Igboka, a national coach, whom he described as his mentor and father for identifying his potential early and nurturing him.

Igboka is among the coaches currently preparing the athletes for the competition.

NAN reports that most athletes in camp were selected from those who participated at the recently-concluded  AFN Under-18 and Under-20 All Comers trials held at the Ahmadu Bello stadium, Kaduna, in March. (NAN)