Volume 12 Week 5

Monday, Oct. 15


 

Updated July 21

Updated Aug. 9

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This week:
Rainer Bloess

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Jean-Marc
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(Updated 11:30 a.m., July 25)
Orléans sprinter heading to Beijing as an alternate

By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Former Sir Wilfrid Laurier sprinter Richard Adu-Bobie leaves for the far east next Wednesday where he will prepare for the Olympic Games with the rest of the Canadian track team. File photo


Itís been four years since former Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School sprinter Richard Adu-Bobie went to his first Olympic Games as an alternate on the 4x100 metre relay team.

Although he didn’t get a chance to compete, he did get enough of a sniff to make earning a spot on the 2008 Olympic team his number one priority.

Following the Olympics in Athens in 2004, Adu-Bobie went to the University of Florida where he placed third in the 60 yard dash at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Unfortunately that same spring, he injured his leg and had to miss most of the outdoor season.

Two years later he transferred to Texas A&M where he gradually improved his times. After finishing fourth in the 100 metres at the Canadian Championships last summer he ran the opening leg on the 4x100 metre relay team that won a silver medal at the Pan Am Games in Brasil and competed at the World Championships in Japan.

Entering his final year at Texas A&M, Adu-Bobie was hoping to build on the experience in his continuing develop.m.ent as a world class sprinter.

After a so-so indoor season, he had an impressive outdoor campaign including a personal best 10.25 in the 100 metre final at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships which earned him an invitation to the NCAA Finals where he placed 11th overall and helped the Aggies to a second place finish in the 4x100 relay.

Heading into the Canadian Championships in Windsor earlier this month, Adu-Bobie was hoping to repeat his top four performance of a year ago and earn a starting berth on the Olympic relay team. Instead he placed a disappointing sixth and is once again facing the prospect of going to the Olympic Games as an alternate.

“It’s frustrating. I know I can be a great sprinter and could be one of the four to
represent the country,” says Adu-Bobie. “But I can’t let it frustrate me. I have to keep fit and keep a positive attitude because you never know.”

One of the things the 23-year-old sprinter has going for him is his international experience. Besides competing at the Pan Am Games last year he also took part in the relay at the 2005, 2006 and 2007 World Championships.

That experience combined with a good pre-Olympic training camp in Singapore could earn him a spot on the team in one of the earlier rounds in Beijing.

“I hope so. That’s my goal. I just have to stay positive and work hard and see what happens,” says Adu-Bobie.

After the Olympics, Adu-Bobie plans to stay in Ottawa and continue to train with former Olympic gold medalist Glenroy Gilbert. If he needs additional motivation he can look to sprinters like Donovan Baily who competed in the 1996 OIympics in Atlanta at the ripe old age of 29.

(The story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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