Olympic Marathon: Obiekwe Aims High

Nigeria’s sole representative in the marathon event of the 2012 Olympics in London, Esther Obiekwe, says her target is not to win a medal but to improve on her personal best.

Obiekwe is slated to compete in the world’s oldest marathon, the Boston Marathon on 16 April, 2012 in the US.

Speaking yesterday on her medal chances in London, the 36-year old banker, who works with Fidelity Bank, said her present personal best timing is outside the Olympic medal bracket, saying she only hopes to improve on her timing in London.

“My target is to run a personal record of under 3:28, which will show that I’m improving on my timing. As I depart the shores of this country for Boston, my target is to use the Boston marathon to prepare for the Olympics that begin in July,” she said.

Obiekwe qualified with an elite time of 3:28 in the Berlin Marathon in September 2011. This qualified her well below the minimum standard of 3:40.

She is presently the top ranked Nigerian Female marathoner on the international circuit.

Obiekwe’s coach is former Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Bottling Company, James Lafferty, who now resides in The Philippines.