Usman Sulaiman won a gold medal in his first outing at the National Sports Festival (NSF) and then a bronze medal at the 2011 All Africa Games in Mozambique, he has stated that his target now is to represent Nigeria in the taekwondo event of the 2016 Olympic Games.
The 17-year old athlete, who claimed gold medal in the men’s -58kg at the weekend, said he was sure that he would make it to Rio 2016, stating: “I am in Lagos to win the title and I have just done that and my main target is to make it to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
“Athletes like Isa Adam, Chika Chukwumerije have made the sport popular in Nigeria and their efforts have also gained international recognition, so I will like to ride on their exploits to become the world’s number one in the sport.”
The Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) champion added: “When I started the sport in 2000, my parents initially were sceptical, but after discovering that I had interest in the game, they decided to support me.
“Their backing has really helped me to progress in the game. I will like to follow the footsteps of Adam and Chika because they have made the country proud and are indeed good role models for some of us.”
According to Sulaiman, his first festival improved his confidence, even as he aims to rule the game in the country. He added: “I thought that the festival would be tough but on getting to Lagos I found out it was not as tough as I expected. I beat most of my opponents gallantly to claim the gold.”
He also attributed his progress in the sport to the support and moral backing of his coach, Ibrahim Yehusa, who he described as one of the best coaches in the country, and hoped that Kano would continue to dominate the sport in Nigeria.
Source: The Guardian