Obame: “Africans are going to win more than 5 medals in Manchester”
World champion and Olympic silver medallist Anthony Obame (Gabon) attends WTM at Manchester 2019 World Championships
How do you feel? Would you say you are in good shape for the event?
I fell very well and I hope everything goes in the way we’ve planned with my coach. I am in perfect shape, ready to give my best.
Already nervous for Sunday action?
Not really, of course my mind knows something important is about to happen and you can feel that, but I try to turn it into motivation. That will help me do my best, I am pretty sure I won’t be nervous on Sunday.
What do you think about the Manchester Arena?
It is really beautiful and big. You can notice the organization has put a lot of work in order to make it look so nice these days. It’s fantastic, the only little bad thing I can say is that you can not see all the rings from the stands, but is not a big issue since the evening session will be different.
Which of the athletes in the Men’s +80 kg draw are your toughest opponents?
In my division all competitors are tough. Each one has his own style, but all of them are really good. I have to go out there with a 100% motivation if I want to win a single combat. I don’t like to mention some of them as the best, I don’t want to disrespect anybody.
Have you defined your strategy for the competition or you will adapt it to each opponent?
It depends on the rival, of course, but the main goal is to fight with my own style, start the match with my own style no matter the other player. If the fight is going in the other direction, then we will decide with my coach what adjustments to do and change a bit the strategy.
Have you already got Tokyo 2020 on your mind?
It is somewhere in my mind already, I can’t deny that, but nowadays we are here, in Manchester, and I have to focus on the World Championships, it is no the right time to think about the Olympics.
How well do you think African athletes are going to do in Manchester?
I think we are going to win a lot of medals, I’d say more than 5 for sure. African fighters have learned that they don’t just have to train a lot to achieve success, they also have to train in the best conditions at your disposal. There are many of them training in Spain, Germany, USA, anywhere… and they also have to compete in all the major events to test themselves against the best of the best. In the last Olympics, we won 5 medals, when we use to get 1, 2 or 3 before that at other big competitions. I think we are going to prove that here in Manchester.