Golden girl Obijiaku tipped for big things
12:34pm Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Athletics
Streatham’s Michella Obijiaku emulated Olympic medallists Kelly Sotherton and Mark Lewis-Francis last week by finishing second in the all-rounder rankings at the Aviva Athletics Academy Sportshall Finals, writes Nate Saunders.
The 15-year-old, representing Surrey, topped the podium in the shot-put after recording a distance of 11.35m at the flagship junior athletics development event of the year in Birmingham.
She then also claimed gold in the two-lap relay while finishes of sixth in both long jump and the individual two-lap race were also recorded as she ended just behind Phoebe White in the all-rounder rankings.
And, after writing her name into the Sportshall history books alongside the likes of Sotherton and Lewis-Francis – who tasted success in 1992 and 1998 respectively – Obijiaku was left grinning from ear to ear.
“I’m a bit speechless because I never dreamed I would get gold, let alone finish second overall,” said Obijiaku – who goes to Bishop Thomas Grant School.
“I threw really well in the shot, it is certainly my strongest event.
“There was a lot of competition and so I am really proud of myself to have gone home with a few medals.
“It was great fun to be part of a team and one day I hope to be part of the British team as a professional athlete.”
The national Sportshall Final in Birmingham is part of the Aviva Athletics Academy, which encourages and enables children to get involved in track and field.
And Obijiaku’s efforts at the LG Arena did not go unnoticed with current Aviva GB & NI Team high jumper Robbie Grabarz there to cheer on the competitors.
“It is nice to see young athletes like Michella having fun, enjoying athletics and that is how it should be really,” he said.
“I used to do Sportshall as a kid so it’s great to get the opportunity to come back and hopefully inspire a few kids in the same way that I was when I was younger.
“There were some outstanding performances and the future of British athletics looks to be in good hands.”
Aviva has been backing the GB & NI Team since 1999. Search for ‘Aviva Athletics’ on Facebook.