Bryan Monday is a Lagos based jumper who broke the 6m and 14m jinx this season in the Long and Triple Jump respectively. He shared his story with us from his struggles to how he finally made it.
He first tasted 15m at the Lagos State Trials where he leaped 15.07m but he didn’t compete in the event at the National Sports Festival (NSF) so as to give room for another Athlete to compete. He opted for the Long Jump where he leaped a huge Personal Best of 7.22m to finish just outside medal podium in 4th.
While at the MoC Grand the following month, he improved on his PB at the Lagos Trials to finish 2nd with a new mark of 15.10m. He built on that performance again at the Nigerian Olympic Trials where he leaped yet another PB of 15.67m to clinch the Bronze medal.
He wasn’t done, at the Paga/MoC relays he proved that his 15.6m wasn’t a fluke as he finished 2nd with a very commendable 15.50m.
He also made progress in his High Jump, scaling a Personal Best of 2.05m at the MoC Grand Prix.
For Bryan, 2021 was a great season and he is greatful to God.
“It was a great season in which I will say I’m grateful to God for his love and kindness.”
He took us down memory lane as he reminisced on how he started off his athletics career as a High Jumper.
“My first event was actually high jump in which I got a lot of words from friends and some coaches, that I’m short, that I can’t jump very high.
“So after 2016 Olympic Trials in Sapele, where I was the smallest among the jumpers, Coach Kola who trains me on high jump adviced me to start Long and Triple Jump.”
“At the first MoC, I did three events the same day, which I got a knee injury (petila), I nurtured it for 1 yr and 6months and it affected my performance negatively.
“My left leg was 5times stronger than my right leg which is my jump leg. 2018 I officially moved to Arena Academy with Coach Olu, then we started working on my jumps but I was still struggling with my right leg. I will hop a long distance but step to take off was pretty bad but one thing I never did was to stop training or encouraging myself.“
Focusing on one technical event sometimes, might be the best and for Bryan, taking that decision helped a great deal.
“Last year, my best jump was at TAFCAN Lagos trials, 14.47m in the Triple jump and 6.69m in the Long Jump. So I had to pause Long and High Jump for sometime and focus on Triple Jump.
“This year, my first Triple Jump was 15.07m, I was excited because I told my coach to give me his Adidas canvas that I will give him a 15m soon, if I don’t, he should take my favourite shoe.” Monday said confidently and not long after he registered three successive jumps above 15.0m.
“After doing a 15.10m at AFN/MoC Invitational, I was called ‘Official 15meters’ by one of the coaches.”
When asked about his role models, he said,
“First I will say Felix Obi. Since the last time I saw him jump at the 2016 Olympics trials, I put in my mind that I will be great in triple jump. He has been encouraging me that I will be great. Second inspiration comes from Ruth usoro. Her love for God and sports push me to strive for more because she is a real model in jumps, she is a fighter, seeing her jump gives me joy.
“I will like to say I love Nigerian Triple Jump champion, Zola Nzube, that guy has good vibes, he encourages me to keep on pushing.”
And lastly, I want to show the upcoming jumpers that if you’re drinking garri, trekking to training and back home, there’s still hope for a change.
Monday is motivated and eagerly waiting for next season as he hopes to join the 16m club where Nzube Zola (16.37m), Oritsemeyiwa Ineh (16.22m), Abiola Olajide (16.15m) and Chidozie Kalu (16.06m) belong.
Keep grinding Champ