14-year-old Sulaimon Kehinde has secured a silver medal at the 2019 National Youth Games for Team Lagos in the 42kg Judo event after brazing all odds to qualify for the final.
The athlete’s journey to the medal zone saw Sulaimon beating Christian Emmanuel from Kogi State in the Round of 16 to qualify for the quarter-final where he defeated Chidiebere Okoro from Anambra State.
Sulaimon proceeded to the semi-final and was victorious over Niger State’s Kasim Mohammed to earn the final slot.
However, Sulaimon, a student of Aje Comprehensive Junior High School, Yaba found a tough opponent in Edo State’s Joshua Aguozie in the final duel and lost the fight to win the silver medal in that event.
Speaking after the contest, Sulaimon said, “It’s painful losing the gold medal to Edo State because I had set my sight on coming first in this category right from my first fight in the Round of 16. Nonetheless, I am happy that my first participation in the Youth Games gave me a medal for Lagos”.
“I have no regrets whatsoever because the future is still bright for me in Judo. I am a rookie and newcomer in the sport compared to my opponent whom I learnt had been in this for some time,” he added.
He promised to continue training after the Games to sharpen his skills, hoping to represent Lagos State in future competitions.
He thanked the Lagos State Sports Commission for giving him the opportunity to participate in the Ilorin championships and also commended his coaches for a job well done.