Former Olympic 400m hurdles champion and record holder, Kevin Young
Former Olympic 400m hurdles champion and record holder, Kevin Young has urged Team Nigeria athletes at their Atlanta, USA training camp to continue to train hard and set goals in order to realise their dreams of making the podium at the London Olympic Games this summer.
Speaking during a visit to the athletes camp, Young who set a world record and Olympic record of 46.78 seconds, which remains unbeaten till date en route to winning the Olympic gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games said the athletes in camp have what it takes to write their names in glory.
Young, now a motivational speaker, who normally charges at least 25,000 dollars to speak at events, gave the advice without a fee at the Team Nigeria camp in Atlanta due to his relationship with National Track & Field Coach, Innocent Egbunike.
He urged the athletes in camp to set as benchmark the performances of such great Nigerians like Falilat Ogunkoya, Mary Onyali, Olapade Adeniken, the Ezinwa brothers-Davidson and Osmond, Chidi Imoh and Fatimah Yusuf.
''Nigeria has produced such great track and field stars as Falilat Ogunkoya, Olapade Adeniken, Mary Onyali, Chidi Imoh, who have achieved great things either at the Olympics Games, or the IAAF World Championships. You guys could be greater if you set your mind 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 medallist in London if only you set your mind at winning, not looking at obstacles. I urged you to set personal goals, train hard towards reaching your potentials and even rehearse your victory lap in practice,” said Young who became the 400m hurdles world champion, winning at the 1993 World Championships in Athletics with a time of 47.18 seconds.
Some of the athletes who listened to Young’s motivational talk include reigning national 100m king, Ogho-Oghene Egwero, three-time 100m king, Obinna Metu, former 400m kings, Saul Weigopwa, who is the team captain, and Godday James, the last Nigerian man to run the quarter mile inside 45 seconds on Nigerian soil as well as Ajoke Muizat Odumosu, the All Africa Games 400m hurdles queen.