Catching up with Femita Ayanbeku

Femita Ayanbeku



Femita is a  T44 100 and 200 meter T & F Paralympian.  She recently competed in the 2017 World Para Track and Field Championships. We caught up with her to see how it went! 

What was your training like leading up to London?
Leading up to London I trained 4-5 days per week on the track and I lifted weights 3 days per week. I did a few out of state competitions as well as an international competition in Australia.

Did you take any time off after Rio?
After I came back from Rio we took about a month off, more or less. I think it’s very important to have some type of a break just to give our body a chance to relax for a little bit. We train so hard and so much during the season, on top of maintaining our life off of the track, it’s important to be able to recuperate

How did each of the events go? Highs/ lows?
For both of my events I was able to make it into the finals. It is always a learning experience for me to shake out that first race before the final. Before my 100m semi-final I was extremely nervous. Going into the final my nerves got the best of me and I was disqualified for a false start. After being disqualified for a false start, that really spiked my nerves because I began to focus more on my start to try and make sure that never happens again. So going into the 200m semi-final I was nervous but I had to calm myself and stay focused. I came out of the blocks a little late but I was able to run my race, make it to the final, and run my personal best time. Finally, going into to the 200m final I felt a bit more relaxed and my coach was able to keep me focused and reminded me to simply execute. During the 200m final it was down pouring in my lane and that did concern me but I think I was focused on seeing how my performance would improve if I just relaxed. So that is exactly what I did and I was able to finish 5th with another personal best time 0.3 seconds faster than my semi-final.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I don’t have a step by step ritual before a race, but as long as I get the basics done, then I am usually ready to go. The basics, for me, is staying off my feet and relaxing, eating a banana or two, listening to hype music, and a prayer to wrap it all up.

What’s your favorite part about competing internationally?
My favorite part of internationally competing is that I am able to learn and experience so much of the world. It is always a great time to see how other countries operate on and off of the track. I love to compete internationally now although I was very afraid before because I did not know what to expect. However I have competed in 3 different countries in the last year and I am absolutely in love with experiencing new cultures and seeing the world.

What has been your favorite/ best meet so far? 
I would say my favorite meet would have to be my 200m final in London. This is my favorite because I was able to run a relaxed race and a personal best time in my entire track career, officially.

Looking forward, what are some of your long term goals?
A long term goal of mine is to make my mark in the Paralympic world. I want to be around long enough to make a difference, to inspire other young athletes to work hard for what they want on and off of the field of play. I also want to do as much as I can to make the world more aware of Paralympic athletes.

What advice would you give other aspiring Paralympic athletes?
I would tell other aspiring Paralympic athletes to always believe in yourself and your abilities. Being a “disabled” athlete can sometimes make people think they are limited, but to me, we are limitless. The world tells us that we are disabled however we are performing at the highest levels of sport, doing the exact thing they thought we were unable to do. Hard work truly does pay off and if you are passionate and dedicated enough, then anything is possible. I literally learned how to run with a running blade in December of 2015 and I was a Paralympiam by June 2016. After I performed at the Paralympic games and the world championships, I have yet to accomplish what I want, which is to win gold. But I will continue training and working hard and I know I will get what I want. I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but if you want something bad enough you should never let anything or anyone stop you from having it.


Be sure to keep up with Femita by following her on twitter @ParaMita0630 !