By Ben Efe
Former Nigerian sprinter, Gloria Kemasuode who for close to five years was on a hard climb to mental fitness after being sucked into the vaults of depression, is on the mend and athletics buffs are hopefully waiting to see Kemesode return to her usual bubbly self.
Kemasuode, is mostly remembered for her role in the Nigerian 4x100m quartet silver medal win at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. She was a good sprinter with her personal best of 11.21 seconds, shs is one of the athletes in Nigeria who on any good day could be depended upon to reproduce a world standard performance even when waken up from sleep.
Her life was also in full swing as she settled in Australia where she got married to a citizen there. Her road to sadness began when she and her partner parted ways. She then came back to Nigeria, and she found love again with her childhood sweetheart, thinking that she would be happy and safe, but that turned out to be a wrong choice.
After Beijing 2008, Kemasuode was in high spirits and together with her new love, they invested all the money she made from the Games and she also resumed her studies at the Delta State University Abraka, but soon afterwards the world had its evil ways. Her childhood sweetheart became her adult nightmare. Cases of infidelity, including defiling of the matrimonial bed by her husband were some of the pain she had to bear. Her new man soon left her taking all their investment along.
As if that was not enough, Kemasuode lost her dad who was actually a shoulder to cry on in all her trying times. Her world practically fell apart and she drifted into emptiness.
She has been unstable since 2015 and in between that time former Athletics Federation of Nigeria secretary-general, Maria Wophil was looking for her with a view of providing succor, she seem to have disappeared with no trace. However, last week a report in a local tabloid in Bayelsa State brought plight back to light.
Mrs Wophil and the Nigeria Women in Sports (NAWIS) sprang into action and of course AFN president, Ibrahim Gusau not wanting to be left behind in the effort to save Kemasuode, jump into the fray and the stricken athlete was finally plucked off the streets and then booked for treatment at the Federal medical centre in Yenogoa.
Speaking on the development Austin Poland Oritshe, a former Nigerian athlete said rehabilitating Kemasuode is the best piece of news he has heard all year.
“It is a pity what is happening to Gloria. If she had known that things will turn out be bad for her… she could just remained in Australia.
“When her mates over there heard of her condition they were sad. Gloria rejected offers for her to represent Australia and returned to Nigeria.
“There were too many frustrations and coupled with the death of her father things took a turn for the worst. “I’m glad that the AFN is doing something to aid her. It shouldn’t be another PR stunt, but a concrete step towards rehabilitating her. If this is the only thing the AFN can do this year it would mostly gladden my heart.”
Also speaking former top Nigerian sprinter, Endurance Ojokolo said it was good news Kemasuode is receiving medical attention.
“She is responding to treatment and I’m hopeful she will be okay. When she is done with treatment, she needs to be constantly in the environment of track and field so that she doesn’t relapse again.
“I will sure be glad to see Gloria back into her former happy and joyous self, she is such a sweet and loving woman.”