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ojie eyes euro gold 

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Ojie Edoburun
13 May 2015


Ojie Edoburun (coach: Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) is the current 100m European Junior leader after his 10.34 clocking at the BAL Premiership match in Sheffield last weekend. This Sunday he represents the Great Britain and Northern Ireland under 20 team at the Loughborough International in the 100m and is also part of the 4x100m relay squad.  

Edoburun blasted into the public eye when he won 100m silver at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ukraine two years ago, and has continued to excel under the guidance of Tawiah-Dodoo. His training group contains the likes of Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford and 9.96 man Chijindu Ujah which has been a positive environment for the sprinter.

“I’ve been training a lot more with CJ (Chijindu Ujah) this winter, so I’ve been exposed to more intensive gym work and more endurance on the track. Last season I had quite a lot of niggles but this year I have been a lot more solid”, said the Shaftesbury Barnet athlete. 

Edoburun believes Ujah’s sub-ten clocking last year was a landmark moment for British sprinting and their training group. Chijindu was only the fifth British person to run under the magic ten second barrier and the achievement is not lost on his 18 year-old training partner. 

“I think him breaking ten seconds was a really big breakthrough for our group, it widened our horizons. It showed if we trust in our coach then sub-ten in definitely on the cards.

“Coming into the outdoors (season), after warm weather training, I have got a lot more volume in, and had the opportunity to get longer work in with the 200m boys. My starts are coming along now and after doing speed work with CJ, my confidence is really good.”

The teenager highlights the ‘good vibe’ in the training group at the moment as results continue to improve. However, Ojie is not getting complacent and has a clear set of goals for the 2015 season ahead.

“The European Juniors (in Eskilstuna, Sweden) are my big target this year. CJ won it last time so my main aim is to win it again (for GB & NI). I don’t underestimate anybody; anyone can come to the championships and run a great time. My priorities are to make sure I am fit for the Europeans, and taking the confidence I gain from races to go to Sweden and deliver for my country.”

The 2014 IAAF World Junior 100m finalist started running at a young age despite having dreams of becoming a footballer but by his own admission, he was ‘not as talented as his peers’. He used to race his dad in the park at the weekend and compete in district sports championships. However, a race against his PE teacher at primary school convinced him to get involved.

“I had a race with my primary school teacher – he thought he was bossing me but I actually beat him. I was only about 10-11 at the time. That’s when I realised I could be half-decent at athletics.”

He attended a school sports day at Lee Valley where Peter Scott, who was working at the event, saw his raw ability. He suggested that Edoburun came down to the track and he would help to find him a coach, and he has never looked back. 

Edoburun reflects on his athletics hero who is the 1996 Olympic 100m champion Donovan Bailey. He admired the Canadian’s mind set and confidence in the lead up to his golden moment and some have commented on how similar their techniques are. However, it is the British sprinters who are inspiring the Futures athlete and giving him motivation right now.

“British sprinting is great at the moment and I think the youngsters are running great times that I didn’t think they would yet, but everyone is clipping each other’s heels. 

“You have to remain focused, I know if I slip up there are a whole bunch of young athletes behind me, waiting to take my spot. At the same time, I know if any of the seniors slip up, I’ll be ready to take their place. That’s the kind of intensity there needs to be in the country amongst the sprinters.”

He points to the wild celebrations in Donetsk the day after of his World Youth success two years ago when he watched James Dasaolu clock 9.91 in Birmingham to go second on the UK all-time list. 

“I remember watching James beat 10 seconds when I was out there (in Ukraine). We were in our hotel watching the race going crazy. All the Jamaicans and other athletes wondered what was going on. Everyone was in high spirits.

“When James ran 9.91, that was a significant moment and everyone realised sprinting was growing in this country. When CJ followed that up, it made everyone rearrange their goals.”

Ojie Edoburun is an athlete supported by the British Athletics Futures programme 2014/2015 which provides targeted support to athletes and their coaches.