Chukwuebuka Enekwechi was ranked 10th in the world before the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Qatar, but at the end of the 10-day tournament, he made the final of the men’s shot put event as well as finishing among the top eight in the world.
Excited by his performance in Doha, Enekwechi whose 21.81m placed him in eighth position in the final believes his outing in Doha would motivate him ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I started training about ten months ago, so I’m excited to make the final. I’m happy to have a decent season. I am also excited to finally be off season and get my body checked out a little bit so I have it even better in 2020. For me I don’t really care about what other people do but there’s a lot of respect all over the place, so now 22 feet is pretty common and that just means that we are in the best shot put phase in history and I feel honoured to be part of it,” he said.
With less than a year to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the 2019 African Games gold medalist said: “The Olympics is obviously in my plans now that I have that standard so I need to have a solid 2020 season. This season has been way too long I think it is a little bit ignorant to expect a personal best (PB) in the 10 months or a medal. I think people are obsessed with medals and it doesn’t make sense especially if you are an experienced athlete. If you are in a situation like mine, you just have to do your best and persevere and don’t really listen to the armchair guys.”
Like Enekwechi, Chioma Onyekwere who competed in the women discus event, the Doha experience has put her in good frame of mind for Tokyo 2020.
“I am very excited about the new PB unfortunately I did not make the finals. I really wanted to get to the finals and this world championship definitely helped my world ranking showing that I am also a big contender for Nigeria and to represent my country at the Olympics. I think that it has helped me to compete against those going to the Olympic by showing that I am one of those top athletes in the world and we are all like world-class athletes,” said Onyekwere.