16th November 2018
OGBECHIE CLAIMS THIRD PLACE IN SPORTSAID'S ONE-TO-WATCH AWARD
Dominic Ogbechie (coach: Marius Guei / Carol Jackson; club: Highgate Harriers) claimed third place in SportsAid’s One-To-Watch award at the charity’s annual SportsBall in London last night.
The annual award, which was launched in 2006, seeks to shine a light on the achievements of some of Britain’s brightest young sporting prospects and boasts an illustrious Hall of Fame of previous winners.
2018 has been Ogbechie’s best year in his career to date, breaking the world age-15 high jump record, setting a world U18 leading mark in the high jump of 2.22m, and a world U18 indoor leading mark of 7.53m in the long jump.
He has claimed international success with a gold medal in the high jump at the European U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary, and has enjoyed domestic success at the English Championships, taking the U17 and U20 outdoor high jump crown to add to his U17 indoor high jump and long jump titles.
In recognition of his achievements and for making the final three, the 16-year-old will be provided with one-year kit support from global sportswear brand Nike, along with receiving support to the equivalent of £2,500 as a runner-up.
Speaking at the awards, Ogbechie said: “The Olympics is my biggest long-term goal. 2020 [Tokyo] might be too close but definitely the one after that. Next year, my main aim would be the European Under-20s. I go up an age category, so the main thing is gaining the experience of competing with seniors. SportsAid have given me massive support and I’m grateful for everything they’ve done.”
The award was presented by SportsAid alumnus Greg Rutherford, who expressed his delight at being able to be a part of the evening and how the London 2012 Olympics has helped to inspire the next generation of athletes coming through.
He added: “To see these genuine stars of the future is fantastic. We’ve [the country] got incredible young athletes coming through. There are hundreds and hundreds of these youngsters who have hopefully been inspired by the last 10 years of British sport.
“We’re now seeing things like the London Olympics coming to fruition, where actually these youngsters remember those moments and wanted to be part of it and we get to honour them tonight. I’m thrilled to be involved with it and looking forward to next year. I’ve only just retired and now I’m doing this side of things – I still feel like I’m the athlete and it’s a lovely, lovely honour.”
Boxer Caroline Dubois scooped the overall award on the night, following her success at the Youth Olympic Games, where she won gold in the women’s -60kg, having claimed AIBA Youth World Championships and the EUBC European Youth Continental Championship gold earlier in the year.