SFU’s Abdulai makes Canada’s Olympic team

July 7, 2008

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SFU track and field star Ruky Abdulai has qualified for the Canadian Olympic team in the long jump. Athletics Canada informed the fourth-year arts major Monday, July 7 at an official breakfast.

Abdulai was crowned Canadian champion in the long jump over the previous weekend at the 2008 Canadian Track and Field Championships in Windsor, Ont., jumping 6.48 metres to win the title. That fact, coupled with her 6.72-metre jump from earlier this season, vaulted her onto the 2008 Olympic team.

The popular Ghana-born athlete, who became a Canadian citizen on January 1 this year, recently capped her SFU varsity career as the most decorated female in the history of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) at the association’s outdoor track and field national championships.

“I wasn’t happy with what I jumped over the weekend, but I am so happy the outcome was like this,” says Abdulai. “I have been putting so much pressure on myself just to make the Olympics, I am glad that it’s over, now I can come back and train and focus on the Olympics.”

Abdulai has had a remarkable 2008 thus far, breaking the Canadian record in April at a meet in Azusa, California, with a jump of 6.72 metres. She also won the high and long jumps at the indoor as well as the outdoor NAIA national track and field championships and was named the outstanding female performer at both meets.

“This has been my dream, to compete for my adopted country,” said Abdulai. “My dream has come true, I am so excited, and I can’t wait to wear the maple leaf.”

Abdulai’s preparation for the Olympics is expected to include a pair of competitions in Europe and one in Singapore before making her way to Beijing for the main event.
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