Ruky Abdulai

SFU athlete and new citizen Ruky Abdulai hopes to compete for Canada at the Beijing Olympics.

Canadian Olympian, eh?

May 1, 2008

Document Tools

Print This Article

E-mail This Page

Font Size
S      M      L      XL

Related Links

Barely three months after becoming a citizen, SFU Clan track and field star Ruky Abdulai could be just a few jumps away from representing Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games this August in Beijing, China.    

The Ghana-born long- and high-jump specialist officially broke her first Canadian record April 18, surpassing the 12-year-old national long jump record with a leap of 6.72 metres on her second attempt at the Azusa Pacific Invitational in California.

Her jump topped the old record of 6.66 metres set by former Olympian Nicole Devonish in 1996 and it also matched the A standard for the Olympics. The fourth-year arts major now needs to finish in the top three at the Canadian Championships in July to qualify to represent her newly adopted country in Beijing.

"I was so happy when I received my score, and that it was exactly standard," says Abdulai, who was sworn in as a Canadian citizen Jan. 31. But, she adds, "I wasn’t that surprised because this was in my normal range. I would have been surprised if I had jumped 6.9 metres on my second attempt."

"This was the magic number that she wanted to achieve," says SFU head coach Brit Townsend. "Now the hope is that she can repeat this performance, but she knows she can do it."

Abdulai says she’s thrilled at the prospect of representing her adopted country at the Olympics. "I will be so, so proud to compete for Canada if I get to go," she says.

The 22-year-old Coquitlam resident has amassed 13 individual National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics track and field titles in five separate events this year with most of the outdoor season still ahead of her.

Search SFU News Online