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Judo took me out of the streets, says Team Rivers’ gold medalist, Miracle

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Rivers State gold medalist at the on going 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City, Edo State, Cyprian Miracle, has appealed to various governments in the country to do more for sports, especially those still on the streets in order for them to channel their energy into best use.

Delta State-born, Miracle, who secured the gold medal in the -90 weight category at the Indoor Sports Hall of the University of Benin, said if not for the game of judo, he would still have been on the streets, wasting away. He added that corporate sponsors needed to come out and take some responsibilities in assisting budding talent discovered off the streets in the country.

Speaking with The Guardian, yesterday, the University of Port Harcourt trained Educational Guidance Counsel said the journey leading to claiming the gold medal in judo at the festival wasn’t an easy task, but said he thanked God for making it possible.

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“Winning the gold medal in my weight class wasn’t an easy one, but all thanks be to God because He allowed my little effort to count. I will say I had one of the best fights and one of the easiest. I had two fights before my final battle where I eventually won the gold medal,” he said, adding that his target was to travel out and improve on his game before the next Olympics qualifiers after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“Going out of the shore of this country to continue with the sport has always been my dream. My aim is not only to become an Olympian, but to be an Olympic gold medalist. That is where I see myself in the nearest future. And I am working assiduously towards fulfilling that dream. I pray that before the next Olympics that sponsors will come my way so that I can attend the next Olympics after Tokyo 2020,” he said.

Miracle said he couldn’t take part in the last Sports festival because he was declared above the weight he was to participate, adding that his journey to go to the Olympics ended when he lost narrowly at the 2019 African Championship in Cameroun.

“Me and Enku Ekuka (qualified for the Olympics in the -63 weight) all started the journey to qualifying for the Olympics, but I could make it for lack of sponsorship, as I lost in the fight for the third position at the African Championship in Cameroun. And I know my time will come soon,” he said.

Miracle, who works with a firm as a fitness and wellness coach, said he wished the government and other corporate bodies would realised the importance of judo and what it does by reducing the rate of menace in the society and also the returns on investment on the talents noticed on the streets.

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