Aberdeen AAC’s Desmond Ojei is full of confidence going into this weekend’s Scottish Indoor Championships at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
The Nigerian sprinter, who celebrates his 20th birthday next month, was in record-breaking form at last weekend’s open graded meeting at Aberdeen Sports Village.
He competed in two 60m races, winning both and setting new personal best times on each occasion.
Ojei kicked off the day by clocking 7.06secs to pip his Aberdeen clubmates Ryan Oswald (7.08) and David Irvine (7.09).
He returned to the track not long afterwards for a second heat and this time he blasted his way to victory in 7.02 – with Oswald again second, in 7.05, and Gavin Irvine third in 7.20.
Ojei’s time is the fifth fastest run by an Aberdeen athlete behind Stephen Dunlop (6.89 in 2014), Barry Middleton (6.99 in 1996), Mark Davidson (7.0 in 1989) and Murray King (7.0 in 1991).
It’s also the quickest recorded on the Aberdeen Sports Village track since the facility opened in 2009.
Ojei, who is in his third year studying mechanical and offshore engineering at Robert Gordon University, is delighted with the way he is progressing.
He said: “I was pleased with my performances as I didn’t really expect too much. I have just come back after doing my university exams.
“I listened to my coach, Trevor Madigan, who gave me good advice.
“In my first race I slowed down too much over the final 20m. So, in the second one he told me to focus and put more effort in over that part of the run. I did that and got a better time. It’s all about listening to your coach and doing what you are told.”
Ojei’s time also gives him fourth spot in this year’s Scottish rankings which are topped by Sale’s Allan Hamilton with 6.77.
Despite that, he isn’t making any rash predictions as to how he might fare – although he is looking forward to the challenge and believes the competition will bring out his best.
He said: “I’m going to see what I can do in the national championships. I feel good and I feel ready, so I just need to get my head down, relax and control the tension.
“I think I can clip the 7secs mark this weekend if everything goes well, but we will see.
Ojei has already taken a massive chunk off his best time this season, having started the winter at 7.21.
He said: I certainly feel a lot stronger than I’ve been before and I hope I can do much better.
“I came to Aberdeen in 2015 and did a bit of training, then last year I did some competitions without running too well.
“Now I just want to keep working hard and see where it takes me.
“After this weekend I have the Scottish Universities Championships to look forward to. I was knocked out in the semi-finals last year but I expect to do better this time.”
Ojei hasn’t given too much thought yet so far as the summer outdoor season is concerned, preferring to take things one step at a time.
He said: “I am concentrating on the 60m indoors for now. Later we will look towards the 100m for the summer.
“My aim is to be the best I can be so I will work towards achieving that.”