Fast-rising Nigerian male sprinter, Raymond Ekevwo is picking positives from his outing at this year’s IAAF World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar, as he says it was a good lift for his career to compete among the globe’s best athletes.
Although Ekevwo, who won gold in the men’s 100m art this year’s Africa Games, failed to live up to his pre-championship billing and flopped when it mattered most in Doha, the youngster says he was satisfied to rub shoulders with the glitterati in his maiden outing at the IAAF showpiece.
The 20-year-old Delta State-born lad, who finished fifth in the semi-final of the 100m with a time of 10.20 seconds, insisted that he learnt a lot, in terms of exposure and gaining new ideas, added that the excitement of being among the stars and making new friends is also good for his career.
Africa’s current fastest man said he was thrilled to line out against Andre De Grasse, Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin, who he said encouraged him before the race, in which he admits feeling very nervous, but he is now looking forward to doing better in the 4x100m men’s relay.
Ekevwo disclosed: “It was a great feeling coming out here at first and then qualifying for the semi-final. That’s a really good experience and I’m happy about it.
“Looking at those guys, they some of the greatest athletes of all time. Running against them was a big inspiration to me because I’ve been seeing them on TV and always wished to be like them. So being on the tracks with them was an honour.
“At first I panicked but it is what is it and I had to do what I had to do. So, I went there, executed and although it didn’t go as planned I still thank God. Justin is a cool guy. Before the race he psyched me up and was like success to you.”