A Commonwealth Games-bound athlete, Fadekemi Olude, who will feature in the race walk event, says she prays against the spirit of fear to suppress stage fright during competitions.
Olude, a gold medalist at the 2015 African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC), told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos that she also shuts out the crowd and concentrated on her race.
Olude is currently at the High Performance Centre, Port Harcourt, for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) camp ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
“Anytime, I pray, I usually rebuke the spirit of fear, I have learnt to be bold. I have also learnt that while running, I should be focused on finishing my race well.
“I don’t behave as if people are watching, at that moment, all that is in my head is the finish line and not the people,’’ she said.
Olude said that her target for the Commonwealth Games scheduled for April in Gold Coast, Australia was to break her record and win a medal.
“My target is to go there, break the new record set by me in Abuja and also win a medal for my country,’’ she said.
With a time of 1:42:52 secs, Olude broke Queen Henshaw’s 20km race record of 1:42:56secs set in 2015.
Olude, who also came second in the Nigerian women’s category of the 2018 Access Bank Lagos City Marathon, said she would defy hindrances like the weather to ensure she emerged tops in Australia.
“I pray to God to give me strength; I am certain that I will cope with whatever weather we encounter in Australia, I have made up my mind and I am prepared,’’ she said.
She added that she was surprised she broke the 20km race national record, saying that training in camp was tough but yielding positive results.
“Training at the HPC is tough, before finishing training; the coach is already preparing one’s mind for the next day.
“He tells you ‘be prepared’. The result of training is coming out in with good result. I noticed it during the marathon and trials,’’ she said.