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Nigeria’s first Olympics gymnast says podium finish is his target



Nigeria’s first Olympics gymnast says podium finish is his target

By Emmanuel Afonne

Uche Eke, the first Nigerian to compete in the Olympic gymnastics competition, said his goal was to qualify for the event final at the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Eke, from Igbere in Abia, told the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) from his US base after a week-long visit to Nigeria that qualifying for the final of the event was very important.

“I have to understand this first before I talk about winning the gold medal,” he said.

NAN reports that Eke picked the ticket to the Olympics after Egyptian Zaid Khater, who won silver, missed the trip to Japan.

This was due to the one gymnast per nation rule in the Tokyo 2020 Continental Qualifying Quota System.

Omar Mohamed won gold at the African Championship, while compatriot Khater won silver and Eke bronze, before the rule was applied for the Nigerian to take the ticket.

Eke, however, said he was in no rush to talk about winning a gold medal as there were many hurdles to overcome before being sure of winning it.

“My goal is to make the final, because I can’t jump at the conclusion to say I want a gold medal. There are stages.

“My goal is to get into the final in my best events. So I’m preparing hard to make sure I can reach the final and a higher score, ”he said.

The 23-year-old who competed for the University of Michigan also told NAN he would do his best at the Games despite not having an official sponsor.

“I am Nigeria’s first Olympic gymnast and it’s amazing to have found my dream come true, even though it’s hard to believe it.

“But now that I know that I have qualified and will go to the Olympics, I will give everything I have.

“I was training at the University of Michigan before qualifying and I also trained with my coach (Adam) who helped me prepare for the African championship and I am working hard for the Olympics too. . “

Eke graduated in computer science from the University of Michigan and earned a master’s degree from the university’s School of Information last month. (NAA)


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