27th June, 2012
By Adebobola Alawode
Commonwealth Games champion, Tosin Oke’s target at the coming Olympic Games in London is to win a gold medal in the Triple Jump event.
Oke was at his best at the recently concluded Olympic Games trials in Calabar, Cross River State, where he made an Olympic A Standard of 17.23 metres to win the men’s Triple Jump gold medal.
Oke, who had previously represented the United Kingdom before deciding to jump for Nigeria, said he is looking beyond his personal best of 17.23m, as he has now set his sight on having a good performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Triple Jump athlete began competing in 1997 for the Cambridge Harriers in South-east London, and was coached by Guy Spencer. Oke said his leap at the Olympics trials was not through a stroke of luck, but signs of better things to come.
“I’m happy because it’s always a nice feeling competing in Nigeria and I feel so good today. Well, for me it is a good sign that London is going to be good. I can feel it already,” Oke told P.M.Sports.
Responding to questions regarding his chances of picking a Triple Jump gold medal at the Olympics, the athlete, who had a 16.65m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, (his personal best for years), said he is unperturbed by the opponents he would compete against in London.
According to him: “I don’t want to focus on my opponents for now. I would rather concentrate on my training sessions, increase my work rate and also pray to have an injury free build up to the Games”.
Another striking feature at the Calabar athletics meet, according to Oke, who represented Nigeria at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, was the timing. He noted that the board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria, AFN must be commended for putting up an Olympic trials, noting that the organisation can be compared to those held in other countries.
Oke, who won the 1999 European Junior Championships with a jump of 16.57m, and in the same year jumped the UK Indoor Junior record of 16.12m, which still stands today, acknowledged the fact that Calabar fans played a big role in backing him to leap his new personal best.
The fair skinned jumper said he never knew that he enjoys so much followership on the home front, but was taken aback when he came out from the call room for his light training before the event commenced.
“I must confess, the fans in Calabar motivated me to get this far, I never knew that the home fans know much about me. I’m really grateful to them and hope to be here again someday ’.