Liverpool’s Olympic track star
Anyika Onoura is under starter’s orders for a new direction in life after
saying a fond farewell to the world of competitive racing.
And in announcing her
retirement, the 35 year-old bronze medal winner has pledged to work with Liverpool
City Council to nurture the next generation of homegrown talent.
Anyika returned to her roots
at Wavertree Athletics Track where she was joined by Lord Mayor of Liverpool
Cllr Ann Rothery, to make the announcement.
“It was fitting to go back to where
it all started,” she said. “You wouldn’t have had the likes of myself and
Katrina Johnson-Thompson come through if it wasn’t for the facilities here.”
In 2016, Anyika was left
devastated when she contracted malaria at the height of her career. With steely
determination, she fought back against the illness to claim bronze at Rio
Olympics as part of the 4 x 400m relay team.
Now Anyika says she wants to
focus this world-class strength of will into helping others.
“I will be giving back, being
a mentor, working with Liverpool City Council within sport, helping schools and
businesses achieve their goals,” she said. “If I am going to give back, it has
to be for my city, because my city has given me so much.”
Lord Mayor Cllr Rothery, who has followed Anyika’s career from the beginning said she would be a loss to the sport but a gain to the city.
“She’s lived the experience
and won the medals,” said Cllr Rothery. “She also has a way about her where she
can relate to young people. I think she will have a crucial role to play in
terms of sport in our city.”