Tuesday, 27 June 2017 13:59

BRITISH TRIALS - OJIE HUNTING TO REPRESENT GB AT THE WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Written by Connor Craig-Jackson
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Ojie instagram images, photo shot by @naomibakerphoto Ojie instagram images, photo shot by @naomibakerphoto
Despite seeing many changes throughout his short athletics career, a lot has still stayed the same for Ojie Edoburun.

From making his track debut in 2011 to gaining a place in the British 4x100m relay team for the 2016 Olympics, the 20-year-old has seen the same places and the same faces in continues to shape his success on the track.

Under the guidance of coach Jonas Dodoo, Ojie has continued to flourish alongside fellow sprinters Reece Prescod and Chijindu ‘CJ’ Ujah.

“I’ve known CJ and Reece since we started athletics,” says Ojie “so we’ve all known each other quite a long time and we see each other outside the track quite a lot so it’s sort of got that family vibe." 

“We push each other everyday, whether we’re doing slow runs, fast runs, gym or core everyone wants to be the best and everyone wants to push each other. "

“When you’ve got that theme on a daily basis it’s only right to carry that into competition and try to be the best you can be. Reece has been running quick and CJ’s already proven himself as well, so it motivates me because I run with them everyday in training so I also know what I can do.”

What has changed of course for Ojie is the expectations placed on him, with the Olympics seeming a whole world away during his first competitive race in 2011, finishing fifth in the 100m at his County Championships.

“At the time me and everyone around me would use the County Championships as the limit of what you could achieve on track.” says Oije, “So I didn’t actually think that I would ever go to the Olympics and if you’d said that to me at the time then I would probably have just said ‘yeah whatever’."

“I did want it and aspired to do it but I just didn’t think it would happen to me so soon in my career.”

Ojie EdoburunHowever, it was at international Junior level that the Shaftesbury sprinter caught the eye of many in the athletics world, with World Under 18 Silver and European Under 20 Gold medals at 100m marking him out as an exciting future prospect.

Now an established senior, this season has already proved to be heavily mixed for Ojie, seeing him break 10 seconds for 100m twice in one day only to see the times deemed illegal due to high wind speeds.

A place for Ojie in Great Britain’s 4x100m team in the World Relay Championships also saw him set off too early in the final and miss his changeover, meaning the team did not finish the race.

All this, however, has simply provided fuel to Ojie’s swiftly igniting year, giving him the confidence to keep pushing to new heights.

“I think (the relay championships) was a blessing in disguise,” says Ojie, “because it sort of made my mindset a bit more disciplined when it comes to relays and I think moving forward it’s something that I’m going to learn from to not make those mistakes again.”

“I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and I’m sure when the time’s right and the moment’s right that I’ll run the fast race I need to run.”

Despite not getting the chance to actually race at the Olympics, the experience has left Ojie hungry for more, with his races at London’s Olympic Stadium during the Diamond League Anniversary Games also providing a big taste of things to come.

“The atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium is crazy,” says Ojie, “our country are especially supportive and get stuck in when it comes to sport. So last year even though it was only a Diamond League the stadium was packed out and I mean packed out.”

“To see everyone cheering for you is an advantage that sometimes people under estimate, so to imagine that support being at a World Championships; it’s going to be immense.”

Whether this comes into fruition or not remains to be seen, but however huge the prospect may sound, Ojie will be keen not to let it define his season.

“I’m just looking at everything as being an opportunity to run quick,” says Ojie, “I just want to be the best me, so whether I clock 10.0, 9.9 or even if it’s just 10.2, if that’s my best then it’s Ok, I’m happy with that.”






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