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Athlete Yusuf sets his sights on 2020 Olympics

Havering Sixth Form College student Yusuf Bizimana has just become the England U20 champion in the 800m athletics track event.

Now Yusuf, a former pupil at Emerson Park Academy, is training hard to fulfil his dream of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

The 18-year-old from Romford, who is studying the Business BTEC Extended Diploma and is on course to achieve the top grade of Triple Distinction*, travels all over the country to compete – and won the gold medal to become England champion at Sheffield a few weeks ago. He also represented Great Britain last month in Serbia, competing in a world class field, and this month he travelled to Wales to run for the England team.

He said: “I am aiming to be at the Tokyo games next summer – that’s my dream. I am training really hard. I am at the gym at 6am most days and then I come to College. Every weekend I am competing and travelling, I’m just trying to fit it all in! There is a lot of discipline involved, it’s eat, sleep, train for me at the moment.”

Yusuf will go to Ghana in April for a month for some serious training with the England squad and he will then prepare for trials for the European Championships being held in Sweden in July.

He only started competing properly at the age of 16 when he represented Havering in the London Youth Games and was successful in the Essex Schools championships. He joined Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets athletics club and has since really made his mark in youth athletics.

When he leaves College in the summer he will be taking a gap year to train for the Olympics before taking up scholarship offers he has been made to study at several universities in America.

Yusuf said: “My priority is the Olympics but I am still studying hard to get good grades and I’m really excited about the scholarship offers to the USA. My parents were elated when I won in Sheffield to become the U20 champion and they are really happy that I could have a chance of going to Tokyo.”


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