2009 African Junior Championships gold medalist in the 4x400m in Mauritius, Grace Chimekwene Oma in this chat vows to make an impact when she starts this season with Nigeria.
The Delta state Edo born athlete who now studies in the University of Texas El Paso with Nigerian trio of Blessing Okagbare, Endurance Abinuwa and Nwaubani Gladys started full time athletics in 2002 after being discovered by some local coaches during an event classic.
At a tender age, Oma first attracted attention when she bagged the gold medals in the 800m and 1, 500m during the 2010 Nkoyo Ibori competition as well as competing in the last two national festivals where she won 2 silver medals in the 800m.Grace Chimekwene Oma (L) and Endurance Abinuwa.
She also emerged winner at the 2007 and 2010 Mobil track in the 800m dash.
“When I started athletics, it was always my goal to represent my country.
“Going to the African Junior Championships gave me a taste of what it is like, which has made me more determined to represent my country and do well.”
She however revealed her aim of staying injury-free in order to do well at the international circuits this year.
“As an athlete, injury is one thing we all pray against because when it comes, it can really demoralize one. So I want to be cautious and make sure I’m injury free so as to achieve my goals on track this season.”
It is the dream of every athlete to make it to the World stage and represent his or her country in international championships, in her own summation, Oma wants to be among the best in her field and hope to one day, be among the team that will place Nigeria on the number one spot in medal tables.
“It is always good when one is called to represent his or her country in championships and thereby making it in World Championships.
“Being the best is the dream of every athlete including me and I hope to one day be among the athletes that will put Nigeria in the number sport in medal tables of championships,” she added.
Oma however regretted that the National Sports Festival, which has become an annual event to discover young talents earlier billed for 2010 but postponed to February 2011 may not hold after being postponed to June 2011.
“When I heard of the postponement of the national sports festival, I really didn't like it because my coach was already getting me prepared. It was a little demoralizing, but all the same I was not so worried because I have couple of indoor competitions to put me in shape for the big stage this year.”