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Seun Adigun: Why I chose Nigeria over USA?

Until this year, she has failed to settle into a consistent training routine and her performances have been a reflection of the amount of effort…

Until this year, she has failed to settle into a consistent training routine and her performances have been a reflection of the amount of effort she was allowed to put into her epileptic training programme.

Due to her heart conditions,she has had to be carried off the track on a stretcher once and this had been a huge concern for her. She once told the Houston Chronicle after one of such episodes last May at Ed Weir Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska:To be carried off a track on stretcher is the worst feeling ever.Everybody is looking at you. When you’re strapped up to machines, people are worried about you. I don’t want people to worry about me.

Determined to fulfil her potentials as well as not to get people worry about her,Adigun underwent an operation to remove excess tissue from around her heart.

She was,according to reports in the Houston Chronicle admitted into University of Houston in Texas in 2005 to study Kinesiology with a litany of medical issues. On top of tachycardia, which caused frequent outbreaks of an unusually rapid heart beat,she had asthma and severe allergies.

By her 13th birthday, she’d already submitted to a radioactive ablation procedure to remove stray tissue around the heart. The procedure had only recently gone from an open-heart to a catheter procedure, and her symptoms returned within a couple of years.

Adigun was convinced she’d found a cardiologist with a promising treatment plan during her first year at University of Houston, only to have Dr. Antonio Pacifico die in a plane crash. She muddled along, managing to collect three Conference-USA titles in the 60-meter hurdles, three in the 4×100 relay and two in the 100 hurdles despite her physical issues.

“I didn’t even realize how much my condition affected my ability to work out and do well,” Adigun said. “Everyone kept saying, ‘You have so much left, you have so much potential.’ I was wondering, ‘Why am I not getting to that potential?’

After undergoing an operation last year,she has finally been able to settle into a consistent training routine for the first time and the results have revealed just how good she can be.

Now,nobody around the collegiate circuit in the USA is worrying about Adigun these days. If anything, they’re wondering what might have been if she had had normal heart function all along.

She showed a glimpse of what might have been when she set a school record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.09) last February at the New Balance Invitational in New York and also set what was then a personal best of 12.98 in the 100m hurdles in April at the Penn Relays.

Former world 100m record holder,Leroy Burrel who is her coach at University of Houston believes Adigun is made for the top in her event.

“I always felt like she had world-class talent,” Burrell said. “But her body just continued to fail her.”

 Adigun gave further proof that she has consigned,permanently all her traumas to the dust-bin of history by raising the stakes again,this time at the NCAA Mid-West regionals a few weeks back in Oklahoma where she set a new personal best of 12.88 in the 100m hurdles.

Born into a Moslem home in Chicago on 3rd of January, 1987 to Mr. Kola Adigun and Mrs. Yinka Adigun,Seun is determined to not only become the best there can be in the 100m hurdles but also a source of pride to all Nigerians.

She told Complete Sports in a recent interview she wants to become the next big star in track and field and has willingly accepted to change allegiance from USA,where she was born to Nigeria,her country of origin.

“I always knew if I had the opportunity I would like to run for Nigeria just to show appreciation to my background,the country that made the wonderful people that I call my parents’’,she said adding hers was not a case of seeking her parents’ consent before making up her mind.

“Oh, not at all. There was no form of pressure from my parents to run for Nigeria. In fact they were like kind of surprised when I told them my decision. They have always accepted whatever decision I come up with because they know I must have given it a thought.Since then they have been given me all the encouragement and support to succeed’’.

Born into a family of four,one girl and three boys in the USA, Seun says are parents are Lagosians.Her father, Kola Adigun was a local football star who attended Birch Freeman High school in Surulere, Lagos while her uncle Nurudeen Isa played Lawn Tennis for Nigeria.

“My father used to be called “Stylo” and was invited to the Lagos State Academicals Camp in the 1970’s but he did not play on the team. My mother is the daughter of Alhaji Adewale Isa while my uncle, Nurudeen played Tennis for Nigeria. My grandmother, Alhaja Moriam Adeshina, a retired headmistress of Zumuratul Islamiyah School also did some track and field while in secondary school, so it would be correct to say that I come from a home where sports runs in the blood!’’ she said.

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