New Nigerian 110m hurdles champion Antwon Hicks has revealed the main reason why he switched allegiance to from the United States to Nigeria.
The former USA junior international raised the roof in Sapele recently when he ran 13.27 seconds to break the 13.42 national record set by William Erese in 2003.
Speaking with News24, the athlete, who will represent Nigeria in the 110m men’s huddle in Rio Olympics, explained how the sport is put in place back in the US.
“There in America is a lot of systems put In place for the athletes, I started competing as an 8-year old. They have a system set up for the youth so that you can go from youth to high school, college, so going through those systems of training prepares one to be ready for the international stage like the world championship and the Olympics.
“I think there are lots of talent in Nigeria, so if some type of youth system is set up, they will seek out the best and develop them into international stars, that’s how America and Jamaica does it.
Hicks then revealed why he left the US to compete for Nigeria.
“I was just ready for a switch and also going back four years, I finished fourth at the US Olympics trials, I really really wanted to compete at the Olympics and I wanted to be in those international competitions on the international stage, and i feel like Nigeria will be the best place to showcase that.
“Nigeria is a country with a great history of track and field athletes and I wanted to be a part of it.
“My goal is to win a medal in Rio. I’ll go back to train and prepare for the Olympics so I can get to the medals level.
He also believes in Nigerian athletes.
“I think the athletes will do well and very soon in the next few years, Nigeria will return to glory days in track and field.