Joseph Edafiadhe, a University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) athlete to the maiden African University Olympics, said on Monday that his late mother would be happy about his achievements.
Edafiadhe, one of the four UNIPORT athletes to the competition scheduled for Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that his late mother was his greatest motivation, even in death.
“Whenever I think of my late mum now, I feel happy; and I think of all the good times. She was and still is my greatest motivation.
“I know that she’ll be happy and proud of all what I have achieved so far, coupled with the fact that I didn’t give up after so many years of being pulled back by injury.
“I know she’s definitely smiling and feeling fulfilled,” he said.
The West African University Games (WAUG) long jump gold medallist said that he was grateful to God for the comeback, adding that he would not relent.
“My comeback in 2018, after recovering from an ankle injury, I would like to tag it God’s grace personified in my life; meaning grace found me.
“Humanly possible, I really don’t think I have any right to burst into the scene like I did. Within a period of less than two months, I won a gold medal at WAUG.
“And I won silver at the 2018 National Sports Festival (NSF). Already in 2019, I am going to represent my school at the Games in Egypt.
“I really thank God for the grace, favour and privilege He has bestowed upon my life; and I am so delighted,” Edafiadhe said.
The African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC) long jump gold medallist, however, appreciated the institution’s director of sports, for counting him worthy.
“I want to say thank you to our father and admirable Sports Director, Prof. Ken Anugweje, for believing in my potential and making it possible for me to be a part of the team.
“And to my coach in school, George Obiano, for his endless support and words of motivation, I am just so honoured,” he said.
According to the Delta-born athlete, the 2019 season is just starting, and that he believes that the process to enable him to excel in the year has started.
He said he was in love with long jump because of its different phases, and that he enjoyed the techniques involved in the track and field event.
“I love long jump, it makes me feel free and express myself.
“I enjoy my flight through the air and land swiftly on the sand, like nothing happened,” he said.
NAN reports that the competition holds in Egypt from March 13 to March 20.