Sale Harrier Jona Efoloko was able to toast a job well done at the Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games after leaving with a gold medal to show for his efforts.
Heading to Manchester’s Regional Athletics Centre on Friday, Efoloko was already able to toast a golden season having triumphed in the 200m at the England Under-17 Championships, the England Schools and Schools International Championships this season.
And the 15-year-old was in no mood to miss out on another top step of the podium as he crossed the line at the Sainsbury’s School Games in 21.71 seconds to pick up yet another gold medal.
The winning time might have been some way off his personal best of 21.12, but after crossing 0.60 ahead of nearest challenger Charles Hilliard Efoloko was refusing to get too downbeat.
“I wasn’t too happy with the performance but I guess a win is a win. It was quite a strong wind so the time doesn’t really matter,” said Efoloko, who attends St Peter’s Royal Catholic High School.
“It really does mean a lot of win gold here, it’s a nice way to finish off the season. It’s my last race so I can go into the winter break on a high.
“It’s been an up and down season. It started off well but then I got injured so that set me back a bit but these last months have been really good.
“It is a great title to have, to know you’re one of the best in the country. I’m really proud of it actually. I want to keep it as long as I can.”
The Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games is the UK’s largest multi-sport event for elite level, school-age athletes and is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
And Efoloko wasn’t the only Sale Harrier to shine at the event with Emmanuel Odubanjo claiming silver in the boys’ triple jump with a best effort of 13.81m.
“I would have liked gold but I don’t know what happened, I think the home crowd pressure was too much,” said 15-year-old Odubanjo.
“I’m going to work on every aspect over the winter. I need to improve my mindset too. Going forward I’m going to aim for Europeans next year but I’ll need to work hard.”
The Sainsbury’s 2015 School Games is supported by a range of partners including the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England, Youth Sport Trust, Department of Health and British Paralympic Association. The Games were held in venues across Manchester from 3-6 September 2015. Visit www.2015schoolgames.com for more information.