Search

Paralympic bronze medal winner hopes to change the mindset of a nation

10:00 13 September 2012

Great Britain

Great Britain's Ola Abidogun won bronze in the T46 100m at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sprinter Ola Abidogun hopes the nation will be inspired by the performance of Paralympics GB

Ilford-born Ola Abidogun won a thrilling sprint bronze medal last week and hopes his performance – and that of his Paralympic peers – can change the attitude of the nation.

The 19-year-old clocked 11.23 seconds to take third place in the T46 100 metres final in front of a capacity crowd inside the Olympic Stadium and a nationwide television audience of millions.

His chances of a place on the podium appeared to have gone midway through the race, as the leaders pulled clear.

But a powerful finish saw him sneak into the bronze medal position, as he crossed the line 0.08 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Suwaibidu Galadima from Nigeria.

And Abidogun, who was born without his right forearm, believes the Paralympic message should extend beyond the track, swimming pool and velodrome and into the everyday lives of people nationwide.

“The message I’d like people to take away is that the public care,” Abidogun said. “No matter what happens you have people behind you, whether it’s eight or 80,000 they want you to do the best you possibly can do.

“Whether you’re a regular guy sat behind your desk in an office or an athlete competing in a stadium, there are people pushing you to achieve more.

“You can achieve anything if you’re determined enough. I was determined to win a medal. I didn’t think I would halfway through the race, but my brain clicked in and I felt like I could do it.

“I’d like my performance to inspire people, not to achieve what I’ve done, but to be better than me.

“As long as people try to be better than someone else then they will always look to improve, get quicker and stronger, so I’d like people to better me rather than try and be like me.”

Abidogun, a two-time world junior champion, moved from Essex to Bolton with his family in 2005 – the year London was confirmed as the host city for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

But, despite having relocated north and developed a Lancashire accent, Abidogun insists he felt right at home back in east London.

“Being in the Stadium was comfortable, because this is London, this is where I grew up,” he said.

“Despite the fact I don’t live here anymore I still think of this as home and the crowd as part of my family and they spurred me on.

“They made me feel at home and happy and that I had what it took to win a medal.

“I feel satisfied. Considering I had two events and I had medal prospects in both I feel that I’ve achieved something.

“I’ve only been on the programme for four years. I’m still pretty young and hopefully have many years of competing in major championships ahead of me.”

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Saturday, March 28, 2015
NLS WK13 15 Hendon's Gary McCann foot on ball

Thursday evening was a special one for Hendon FC, as the club fulfilled its first competitive fixture at new home Silver Jubilee Park. Playing only a few miles away from the site of their old ground Claremont Road,

Thursday, March 26, 2015
NLS WK13 15 Hendon's Gary McCann foot on ball

Manager Gary McCann is looking forward to Hendon’s first competitive match at Silver Jubilee Park tonight (Thursday) as his side take on Corinthian-Casuals in the quarter-finals of the London Senior Cup.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Yasmine Serwah Fosu will represent Ghana at the world fencing championships in Uzbekistan.

Yasmine Serwah Fosu will be flying the flag for Ghana at the World Championships in Uzbekistan, which start on April 1.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Wembley boxer Gary Corcoran (right) in action at York Hall

Wembley’s Gary Corcoran returns to the ring for the first time since July on Friday night at York Hall.

Most read sport

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Brent & Kilburn Times e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder