On a sunny afternoon at the Yabatech Sports Complex, Making of Champions (MoC) athlete Emmanuel Ojeli ran the fastest time 46.25s to emerge winner of the 400m event at the second edition of the MoC Grand Prix which took place at the weekend.
“Although I hoped for a better time I thank God for this,” the Shell sponsored athlete said after the race. “I feel fulfilled. I feel happy and I am hoping to do more,” he added.
Although a quarter-miler, Ojeli has participated in the 100, 200 and 400m events this year and qualified for the All Africa Games in the 400m event after racing to a personal best of 45.91s in Botswana last month.
Taking us through the decision to participate in those events he said: “I feel happy about that. However, it was my coach who told me that I need speed in the 400m event and one way to build my speed was to participate in the 100 and 200m events.”
Looking forward to the All Africa Games in Morocco, Ojeli revealed that a place in the national team would mean a lot to his career as “It would show that I am making progress because last year I was no where to be found but I went back home and stepped up my game.”
For subsequent events, “I’m looking forward to meeting the World Championships standard in the 400m event and next year is also the Olympics so I’m looking to improve on my time,” he said.
Finally Ojeli spoke on the influence of his sponsor Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company on his performance so far this season. Would you say securing the Shell sponsorship has boosted your performance? “Yes it has and I want to say a big thank you to Shell Petroleum Company for sponsoring me this season. I hope to do much better and make them proud.
“I also want to thank my coach Deji Aliu, my family and everyone around me for supporting me.”