Ezechukwu: Nigeria’s new sprint sensation

By Daily Sports Nigeria on December 20, 2023

All the way from Abuja, 15-year-old Miracle Ezechukwu was part of the Nigerian Tulip International School students that competed at the Ijebu Sprints and Relays, which was put together by women’s 100m hurdles world record holder Tobi and former Nigerian 400m athlete, Abiola Onakoya, at the Otunba Dipo Dina Stadium in Ijebu-Ode in November.

About 500 athletes burned the tracks in 100m, 400m, 4x100m as well as 4x400m relays in two days and the dominance of Ezechukwu and her counterparts from Abuja wowed the crowd.

She won the Most Valuable Athlete of the meet with three gold medals (one individual and two from relays) as her school also emerged best among 34 secondary schools with three gold medals, two silver and one bronze medals.

Among her three gold medals at the Ijebu Sprints and Relays, she was exceedingly faster than the other athletes in the girl’s 100m, finishing well ahead of her competitors while she also brought her prowess into play during the two relays she anchored.

The Anambra-born athlete revealed how she won a scholarship to become a student at the Nigerian Tulip International School, Abuja.

“I’ve been in Abuja for two years now. My journey to Abuja began in 2019 during the National Youth Games in Ilorin. Although I finished third and fourth in the girls’ 100m and 200m respectively, I still got a scholarship from the school in Abuja,” Ezechukwu told PUNCH Sports Extra.

“Before representing my state, I started running when I was in primary school and also for my secondary school in Amase during inter-house sports,” she added.

She was just 11 and in junior secondary school one when she competed at the National Youth Games in 2019 and what drew attention to her was her small frame among other athletes.

Having spent four years in Abuja already, she only visits her family in Anambra on selected holidays.

“We train two and half hours from Monday to Friday and that keeps me focused even though I miss my family, especially my mom. It’s been very tough to cope but I am focused on making my life better through this scholarship because I get everything I want to become great from the school,” she said.

A few weeks after competing in Ijebu-Ode, Ezechukwu took her dominance to the final of the MTN Champs athletics meet, winning the girls’ 100m and 200m and also helping her school top the Youth Girl’s category with 60 points.

She set a new personal best of 11.93s in the 100m and also produced another PB of 24.39s in the 200m.

Earlier in July, she also shined at the Kaduna Schools Athletics Championships where she won two gold medals in the girl’s 100m and 200m as well as two silver medals in the girls’ 4x4100m and 4x400m relays.

Head coach of athletics at Nigerian Tulip International School and N-Youth Sports Academy, Felix Onoriode, tipped the 15-year-old to join the list of breakout stars from the partnership of the school and the academy soon.

 

“Miracle is one to watch out for. She is surely one of those who will help to reconnect Nigeria into winning ways,” the coach said.

“We have had some who have represented Nigeria and will be representing Nigeria hopefully next season. We mentor them through our structured academics and sports programme in school while the academy seeks scholarships for them to study abroad,” he added.

Ezechukwu adores Nigerian sprinter Favour Ofili and she is looking forward to studying abroad like her role model.

“I want to study accounting and also continue my athletics at the same time. The stages I’ve passed through here have shown me I can combine both,” she said.

Not forgetting her roots, Ezechukwu is excited about the prospect of representing Anambra State again at the National Sports Festival even if she makes it abroad sooner than later. According to her, that’s where it all started for her.

 

 

 

Source Punch Ng

Posted December 20, 2023


 

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