UEL’s Abiodun aiming for BUCS success
PUBLISHED: 11:30 10 February 2017
Sprinter hoping for more track glory
University of East London sprinter Omololu Abiodun has shrugged off any pressure of being the defending champion at this year’s BUCS Nationals, insisting his biggest concern is setting himself up for a successful season on the track.
Last year 24-year-old Abiodun took victory in the men’s 200m in Sheffield, defending the crown he also won in 2015.
However, any plans to also pick up back-to-back outdoor titles were scuppered when he sustained a hamstring injury shortly after the indoor edition.
It was an injury that put paid to reaching his peak for the rest of the season and Abiodun is desperate to make amends this time around.
That all starts with the 2017 BUCS Nationals – the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK – in Sheffield, from February 17-19.
And Abiodun, who is into his final year of studying sports coaching at university, admits confidence is high.
“I don’t really feel the pressure of being defending champion, I just take each race as it comes,” said the Woodford Green with Essex Ladies club runner.
“Training has been going well, I’ve been suffering with little niggles, but they haven’t caused any big issues, so I’m about four weeks ahead of where I was last year – and I pulled my hamstring last season after BUCS, in a relay, so I never really got to where I wanted to last season.
“My aim for indoors is always sub 21s, if I can get that at BUCS then I will be happy because it sets me up really well for the outdoor competition.
“Outdoors I will be happy with another 20-something. I was meant to do it last year, but it eventually didn’t happen because of all my injuries.
“I already know it’s in me to do it, if I do it then I can get to the final of the British Champs and show what I’ve got.
“I like performing on the big stage, so hopefully I can show that a bit more now.
“I’m not sure who my contenders will be this year, I won’t really know until I get there. I try not to think about the people I’m racing against, I just try and take each meet as it comes, and try and win.”
Now in its fifth year, BUCS Nationals sees more than 6,000 students compete in three action-packed days of sport across different venues in the Steel City.
And Abiodun admits the experience of competing at BUCS level, and the support he receives from his university, has been invaluable in his career progression.
“I really enjoy BUCS competition. The competition is really good because the guys that I race against, most of them are GB, so it gives me a practice run about what I’m going to do in the GB trials,” he added.
“Hopefully I will go pro by the end of the year, that’s the plan. I want to try and get myself into the major championships – Worlds, Olympics.
“The next Olympics is one of the things I’m looking forward to, but I’ve got to take every year as it comes.
“I’m kind of lucky because my uni has helped me out with my scholarship.
“While I’m studying I’ve been able to train, they’ve been looking after me. If I go to big championships then they help me out.
“They’ve really helped me through my education. Without that I’d probably find it impossible to train and study at the same time.”
*British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports.
BUCS Nationals is the UK’s largest annual multi-sport event, bringing over 6,000 athletes to Sheffield to compete in nine sports.
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