16 July 2016
With less than 20 days to the Rio Olympics Nigeria’s quarter-miler to the Games in Brazil, Oruke Erayokan, hopes to improve on his season’s best to compete with world beaters.
Erayokan will be competing with the likes of LaShawn Merritt of U.S. and Kirani James of Grenada.
Erayokan, the only quarter-miler to represent Nigeria at the Games, said on Saturday in Lagos that he hoped to improve on his season best of 46.22 secs before the Olympics.
He said that the time inconsistency posed by him was not deliberate but was due to lack of financial support to train adequately.
His personal best of 44.95 secs was recorded at the 2015 African Games in Brazzaville, while the Olympics standard is 45.40 secs.
“I give God all the thanks for making the Olympics list.
“Although there has been criticism about my not being consistent, I did not do as expected this year because I have not been getting support.
“Athletics is about money, you need money to buy vitamins, good food. But I hope to do better at the Olympics,’’ he said.
He appealed to those in authority to make funds available for athletes’ training, saying that not all athletes could afford the luxury of training themselves.
“Athletics is my office, the same way people go to their offices on daily basis; that is how athletics is to me.
“There should be money for training; it is not all of us that can afford the luxury of training ourselves.
“If they make finance available, they will see a better time from a lot of athletes but where we are not motivated, it dampens our morale,’’ he said.