There was joy and excitement at the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) on Wednesday when news filtered in that one of its students won silver medal for Nigeria and Africa at the 2018 Youth Olympics Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Alaba Akintola , a 400-level student of Agricultural Engineering, came second in the 100 Metres event behind the Gold medalist, Luke Davids of South Africa after breezing past the Bronze medalist, Seiryo Ikeda of Japan at the Youth Olympic Park ,Villa Soldati, Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 15, 2018 .
The Vice Chancellor, Joseph Fuwape, while reacting to the cheering news described Akintola’s feat as legendary saying he has shown the world that FUTA is truly a citadel of excellence in all areas of human endeavour.
A statement by the spokesperson for the university, Adegbenro Adebanjo, quoted Prof. Fuwape as promising that the University would continue to encourage and support its students to become the best they can be and achieve all round excellence.
According to Alayode Ajibua, director of sports, FUTA, the road to stardom began for Akintola when he participated in FUTA All Comers Meet, a competition for all new students some three years ago. After he was spotted, a regime of training and participation in top flight competition was put in place for him by the university’s sports unit.
This culminated in his representing Ondo State in the National Youth Games in Ilorin where he set National and Games record in the 100 metres and 200 metres.
He qualified to represent Nigeria at the West African Zone 2 Youth Championship in Ghana in April 2018 where he also won gold and that qualified him to represent West African at the African Youth Championship in Algiers.
In Algiers he set a new African and world record in the qualifying series and he came second in the finals and qualified to represent Africa.
Ajibua said with the support of the Vice Chancellor and the management the University will continue its programme of sports talents discovery and development.