Meet Nigeria’s rising karate star, Ridwan Olaleye
London, April 17, 2021(AltAfrica)-Ridwan Olaleye Nigeria’s rising karate champion has done it again. Doing what he knows best-winning gold medals. His latest acquisition-a gold medal at the recently concluded 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) in Delta state, Nigeria
Rilwan Adisa Olaleye, Mr Karate as he’s fondly called defeated Ogene Bobby in his last group game to win the gold medal in the Kumite 75kg category, bringing his collection of gold medals to 18, sliver 4 and bronze 2
After the latest success, the 23 years old 300 level Sociology student of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, South West Nigeria said his focus now is firmly on the next All African Games in two years time after contributing his quota to Team Delta emerging overall champions of the NSF once again
“I want my name to be written in gold when the history of Nigerian Karate is being written. At my level, locally, I am one of the athletes that has consistently lived up to expectations during the National Sports Festivals. Now it’s time to pursue international glory and I have set my target on that “said Olaleye, who was signed to represent Delta state after winning a silver medal at a national championship in Asaba, Delta state in 2016.
“Olympics is my ultimate, the ultimate target for any athlete. Rilwan told Alternativeafrica.com after his last fight. “But before you can attain Olympics standard, you must attend several international competitions, and that’s why I have to do everything humanly possible to attend the next All African Games to boost my chances of the next Olympics. I know it’s going to be tough, but with God, all things are possible”
Ridway Olaleye’s record is impressive. His name is now synonymous with medals. He won the gold medal at the 1st National Rivers Open Championship in Port Harcourt, South South, Nigeria in 2018 and another gold and bronze medals at the NSF held in Abuja in 2018.
He also won the gold medal at the Open National Championship in Nasarawa in 2019 and gold medal at the All Ages Championship, held in Lagos, Lagos state with another gold medal at the Shotokan Cup held in 2029, in Lagos, Nigeria
Ridwan Olaleye’s romance with Karate was an accident. At age 4, he was taken for Karate training by his dad, Ganiu Olaleye just for self defence at a very tough environment in Ebute Metta, a Lagos suburb in Nigeria. ” I just met myself in Karate but recalled that my dad told me he took me for Karate training just for self defence. You know Ebute Metta in Lagos, was a tough environment to grow up. I guess he did that so I can protect myself when the usual happens. Fighting in Lagos is a daily and normal experience” Since then, Mr Karate, Rilwan who won his first competition at age 8 has not looked back winning several laurels
Ridwan, the humble and devout Muslim owed his success story to his mentors, Joseph Onu and Aderonke Ogunsanwo those he described as” my bedrock in this sport. They have been everything to me”