Abayomi Vincent Adeyemi is a rank 4 weightlifter who is determined to make Nigeria and the Cherubim & Seraphim Church proud. After bagging two gold and one silver medals at the national trial in Abuja, he was called up to the national team to represent Nigeria at the 2019 African Games in the city of Rabat, Morocco. He tells Olanrewaju Adesanya why he went into sports and his desire to win Olympic gold medals among other sundry issues
Why did you choose weightlifting?
I started weightlifting seven years ago and my dad, who is a coach introduced me to it. I picked interest in what he does because he is healthy due to his thoroughness and competence in weightlifting. He is my mentor and coach; a very gentle and easy-going man. He hardly fights, so one day, I asked him why and he said it was due to the understanding he had garnered doing what he knows how to do best (weightlifting) because it behoved him to comport himself with much respect, discipline, focus and he is so conscious of time.
What is your target having chosen to toe his path in athletics?
My father had a number of feats back then when he was a weightlifter and I trust God to surpass his attainments. He stopped at level fourteen but I want to raise the bar higher than he did. I started early and I have a coach (My dad) who is ready to train any athlete at any time, even on Sundays after church service, except on Thursdays when we don’t go to the gym. However, on Mondays, we train anytime to ensure improvement.
Can you lead us into some of your weightlifting experiences thus far?
I was in camp last year and was dropped due to the paucity of fund to take a large Nigerian contingent to the Youth All African Games in Algeria. Though I qualified for the trip, I was dropped and it really affected me. However, my consolation was that I made the National Camp because many senior colleagues were praying to be there but they were not that favoured. So when that happened, I had the motivation that when next I come to the camp, I must be a part of the Nigerian contingents that will make the trip and take part in the athletics in Rabat, Morocco. As a thoroughbred Seraph, I held on to that resolve so strongly and I made the trip as part of the contingent to Rabat in Morocco for the game which ended in August. I made the contingent list from Nigeria and it was a sweet experience and I came fourth. While at home, I found it hard to do some things I ought to, but when in camp, I was able to do more and with the guidance of my coach, I was able to pull through. He gave me the courage that nothing would debar me from making the list. The previous camp had a lot of terrible experiences that one just need to keep to himself, but I just thank God that I overcame it through prayers.
How has being a Seraph impacted you positively in your athletics pursuit?
Much prayers have been said for me to become a successful weightlifter and I am happy that I made the Cherubim & Seraphim Church proud. The C&S is a good church. I advise youths who have no serious engagement to go into sports. With sports, you have many opportunities than been jobless because while at home doing nothing, you are much more vulnerable and can take to crime: armed robbery, rape, cult gangs and more. By going into sports, they will mingle with people and highflyers which will boost their emotional balance and help them hold on.
Now that stardom is gradually calling, is your academic pursuit not suffering?
I am still schooling and processing further academic pursuit; I am taking a part-time course in Oshogbo. I am there because of my training as I clearly cannot cope with a full-time schedule at the university. So, I had to put up with the part-time arrangement.
What do you hope to achieve in weightlifting in five years’ time?
I want to be an Olympian in the next five years; I think I have what it takes because once you have time and you are ready to train, there is no doubt that you can make it. While in camp, I was the youngest and I thank God for helping me to make the list of the Nigerian contingent to Rabat, Morocco. Some of my colleagues were elated that I made it to Morocco being the youngest in the team. I would have come top but due to certain circumstances, I got the fourth position.
Prior to Rabat, what feats have you attained?
On June 27 at the Abuja for National trial, I bagged two gold medals and one silver medal which formed part of the criteria for being called up to camp for Rabat. As a prospective Olympian, I am targeting gold and I am sure with God all things are possible through him. Weightlifting is a game of record and a family game because when you are not happy with your trainee; those you train with you can’t improve. Again, it is a game of record because you can’t be 2.5 and your opponent is 2.6 and you expect the officials to take you as first. They have to take the 2.6 as first before taking the 2.5 as the second. So, it is a game of record.
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