Visually-impaired athlete dreams of participating in 100m events at Olympics, Paralympic Games

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Deborah Adewale, a visually-impaired athlete that participated in the just-concluded Para-athletics Federation of Nigeria (PFN) national trials, said in Lagos on Thursday that her target was to compete at the Paralympics and the Olympic Games.

Adewale, who won the 100m gold medal at the maiden African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC) in 2013, said .

She added that her objective was to emulate Maria Runyan of the U.S. who participated in both the Olympics and Paralympic competitions at the Barcelona Games.

Runyan was also a visually-impaired athlete, who competed in the 100m, 200m, 400m and the long jump events at the Barcelona Olympics, where she excelled.

“My target is to compete at both the Paralympics and the Olympics because I have proved my mettle in both and I know I can do the country proud,’’ she said.

Adewale also said that she would continue to work on her areas of strength, to ensure that she qualified for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Grandprix and All Nigeria/Cross River State (CRS) Athletics championships.

“I want to keep improving so that I can combine both; I want to improve more on my timing and I am looking forward to the Grandprix and the All Nigeria,’’ she said.

In the same vein, Lucky Egbon, who accompanied Adewale to the PFN national trials, said that her timing would be worked on, to put her at par with her contemporaries.

“We intend to keep improving on her, to strengthen her muscles and technique, in order for her to get better.

“We want her to be a world-class athlete who can compete in both the para-athletics and the able-bodied events at athletic meets.

“She started as a para-athlete, but now she is combining both and sincerely, she is good,’’ he said.

(NAN)