(AFP) Femi Ogunode, the fastest man in the field at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games, said he can beat Usain Bolt’s 100-metre world record.
The Qatari sprinter comfortably topped his heat in a time of 10.28 seconds in the morning session on Tuesday as athletics got underway at Baku’s Olympic Stadium.
Nigerian-born Ogunode, who set a continental record of 9.91 seconds on his way to gold at the 2015 Asian Championships, aims to eclipse the 9.58 seconds set by Bolt in 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin.
“For the future, my target is to be Olympic champion. Even the world record, it’s another part of my goal so I’m working towards that,” said Ogunode.
“I believe in myself and I trust God, and I trust myself. And I believe in everybody who believes in me. In terms of time I believe I can break that world record.”
In the meantime, Ogunode has Islamic Solidarity Games gold on his mind and he appears to be razor sharp after a controlled performance in Tuesday morning’s heats.
The 26-year-old qualified second-fastest for the semi-finals behind Bahrain’s Andrew Fisher, and he’s huge favourite to take the title on Tuesday evening.
“You can never tell, but I’m very sure I can win here,” added Ogunode.
Ogunode will not be joined in the semi-finals by his younger brother Tosin. The 23-year-old, who has run 10.18 seconds this season, did not start his heat.
Bahrain’s Kemarley Brown, who has a season’s best time of 10.03 and was considered the main gold-medal threat to Femi Ogunode, also pulled out.