Kelechi Christian returns to Nigeria where she spent the early part of her life before moving to Zimbabwe with her parents where she was discovered by the Zimbabwean Athletics Federation through school sports. Now back in her country of birth and as a Making of Champions (MoC) athlete, Christian says she wants her name to be on everyone’s lips once again.
“I feel happy and grateful for everything they’ve been given me so far. For me it’s like I’m finally inside and I’ve made it so that feeling is beyond what I can explain,” she said following her unveiling by Making of Champions track club as one of the new three senior athletes of the club.
Born in Aba, a major business hub in Abia State located in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria, Ms Christian shares a bit of her experience in Aba since returning to Nigeria last year. “I stayed in Aba between the age of 1-10 but that memory is a bit hazy in my mind.
“However, before joining MoC in September last year, I stayed in Aba for a while but it was hot. I tried training there and it was just bad (laughs). I don’t like the atmosphere; I feel it’s very noisy but it’s home,” she said.
While she was away, Kelechi Christian represented Zimbabwe emerging U20 African Champion in the 100m event in Algeria 2017. She also claimed a Bronze medal in the 200m and Silver in the 4x100m all at the same tournament. Now back in Nigeria as an 100 Level student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), this begs the question: which of the two countries would Kelechi Christian represent going forward?
“I really can’t answer that to be certain because I don’t know what is there yet,” she began. “I just returned and I know the Nigerian standard is very high and the senior team is something that is going to be even harder to get into.
“So for me it’s just about getting to a place where I’m actually given an option to choose between Nigeria or Zimbabwe. But you know, I would love to run for Nigeria because I’ve run for Zimbabwe but I can’t say for certain which would be my choice,” she added.
With Ms Christian back in school now as a student of Unilag and with the Nigerian University Games (NUGA) set to be hosted by her school this year, reveals she is ready to keep working hard to be noticed and probably participate in the tournament.
“I’m hoping to get noticed before November by God’s grace but if not I’m just going to work hard and make everyone know Kelechi Christian again because I feel my name just died down and I want it to come up a bit so that’s my goal for this year.
Adding that “My target this year is to run a new personal best (PB), keep working hard and show the world that MoC is doing something great in Nigeria.”