By Segun Giwa
Gbenga Ezekiel, the latest Guinness World Record holder in most skips on one leg, has attributed his feat to Coach Chibuisi Ukandu, who encouraged him to challenge the record held by Rasel Islam from Bangladesh.
Ezekiel successfully erased Bangladesh’s Rasel Islam’s record of 262 skips in one minute on one foot to set a new Guinness World Record with 265 skips.
The 16-year-old pupil of Ijapo High School in Akure spoke with newsmen in an interview on Wednesday in Akure.
According to him, his coach told him that he could break the record not long after he took to skipping.
He said it was during the secondary school interschool competition that his coach identified his talent and started training him and promised to help him apply for the Guinness World record.
“When I was training, the coach said I was close to the Guinness World Record with my performance and that I could do it and when I did it, he helped me apply and I did it and we achieved it,” the Senior Secondary School student said.
Ezekiel said that he normally skips for fun at the back of the class and for recreational purposes until a senior informed him of an interschool skipping competition where the coach discovered him.
He expressed delight to have broken the record thereby bringing glory to the country.
“One day when we were skipping at the back of our classrooms, one of the senior perfects came and informed us that there would be interschool rope skipping at the stadium and we went for training.
“They allowed me to participate in one event, in the training and I skipped and that day my coach said I can beat the Guinness World Record and I did,” he said.
Ezekiel said he loved the sport and appealed to the country’s sports authorities to recognise skipping rope as a competitive sport in Nigeria and organise competitions.
“I feel happy that I am the first Ondo State-born athlete to achieve the feat since its creation in 1976,” he said.