At 15, Peace Lekwot had the world at her feet following her impressive display at the Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF) World School Athletics Trial held at the Yaba College of Technology with the Kaduna-based teenager carting home two gold medals in a single day.
Being her first visit to Lagos, the Faith Academy student defied the odds to emerge champion in the long and high jumps of the girls’ event ahead of other athletes from 15 states that featured in the two-day championships.
Lekwot not only emerged as the winner in two events, but she also erased her own personal best (PB) in the events to the admiration of Coach Felix Osiebe.
In the long jump event, Lekwot jumped 5.30m to erase her PB of 5.26m while in the high jump she set a new PB of 1.50m to delete the former PB of 1.45m.
An excited teenager described her feat as a reward for hard work. “When we were coming to Lagos, we missed our flight to on Monday because of vehicular traffic between Kaduna and Abuja. So, we had to reschedule our flight to midnight and we arrived at Lagos at 2a.m where we had to sleep at the Lagos airport. We would have decided to forfeit the trip but we were determined to make it to Lagos.”
“Despite the challenges, my coach encouraged me to give my best and when I saw the line-up of athletes across the country, I summoned the courage to give my best which helped me to jump new PB in the two events.
“Athletics has been part of me since I was in primary school at Kingdom Heritage and it was after watching Ese Brume doing the country proud at the international stage that further ignited my passion for the sport.
“So my target is to become the best in Nigeria and in the world by exceeding the feat set by Brume,” she said.
Also, Lekwot’s schoolmate, Daniel Emenike claimed the gold medal in the boys’ javelin event.
Apart from Lekwot, another shining star that lit up the event is Lukmon Adebayo of Lagos who emerged champion in the 200m event.
16-year-old Adebayo ran 22.84secs to beat other competitors to the highest prize at the event while the South West champion is also aiming for the 100m title.
Over 16 states including FCT Abuja featured 536 athletes from 202 schools who took part in the championship which served as a trial to select Nigeria’s contingent for the 2022 World School Athletics Championships taking place later in the year.
Among the states that took part in the trial include host – Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Taraba, Bayelsa, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, Adamawa, Kogi, and others.