One of Nigeria’s most successful athletics coaches, Tony Osheku yesterday celebrated the 800m silver medal won by one of the academy’s graduates, Abike Egbeniyi at the 2018 National Collegiate of Athletics Associations (NCAA) Championships which held in Eugene, Oregon, USA over the weekend.
Egbeniyi of Middle Tennessee State University ran 2:04.33 to win the silver medal behind Watson Sammy of Texas A&M University who ran 2:04.21 in pouring rain.
It was the first time a Nigerian athlete would make the podium in the event at the
prestigious championships that has produced several world and Olympic champions.
‘I threw a small party for the athletes in the academy on Monday after the morning training session to celebrate what Abike did at the weekend,’ said Osheku who trained Falilat Ogunkoya to two Olympic medals and the African 400m record of 49.10 seconds which is yet to be broken after over two decades.
Osheku is happy athletes his academy helped to secure scholarships to American universities have never disappointed him and wants Nigerians to be on the look-out for Isaac Odugbesan in the shot put.
â€œOdugbesan won a track scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University just late last year and the 18 year old has already improved his personal best from the 16.65m he threw last year June in Abuja to become a consistent 18m thrower now. He has thrown 18m and above about five times this year culminating in the new 18.72m personal best he achieved last April at Auburn University in Alabama,â€ stressed an obviously happy coach.
Osheku also revealed that long jumper Omosola Omolayo also won a track scholarship through the academy to the same university which also harbours another Osheku Athletics Academy graduate Cecilia Francis.
â€œOmolayo is also at Middle Tennessee State University. She left the same day Odugbesan left and has been unlucky with injury. She is now feeling a lot better and will soon leap into reckoning. Cecilia (Francis) left the academy for the university some two years ago and she was on fire during the indoor season, topping the Nigerian 2018 55m indoor list with 6.91 seconds.’
Osheku also revealed plans are underway to re-launch the academy formerly known as Osheku Striders.