Eganville Olympian has sights set on Tokyo in 2020


Windsor — Eganville’s Olympic hero, Melissa Bishop-Nriagu, announced over the weekend that she is temporarily suspending her training due to an injury and will be focusing on getting healthy to earn a spot on the Canadian team for the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
After finishing second at the Canadian track and field championship in late July in Montreal, Bishop-Nriagu had been focused on getting her time in the womens 800 metre down to 2:00.60, the standard required to be named to the Canadian team for the upcoming 2019 IAAF World Championship in Qatar from September 28 to October 6.
At that time, she indicated she hoped to participate in a couple of races to lower her time before the deadline of August 24, however, she managed to get in only one race, in Memphis, where despite finishing first in the field, her time was 2:01.05
Bishop-Nriagu made the announcement over the weekend, saying, “This isn’t the season I had planned on paper. A post-pregnancy body isn’t the same as a pre-pregnancy one.
“I made the tough call to end this season and get ready for #Tokyo 2020,” the announcement continued. “My fitness is there but the body structure changes and make its increasingly difficult to stay in one piece.”
In an interview with the Leader on Monday, she said she suffered an injury before heading off to Memphis, saying she thought she could race through it.
“It (the injury) was so new and I hadn’t hurt it that much and it was sort of feeling okay,” she explained. “We were pressed for time, so I had to do it.”
managed to race through it in hopes she could get it to heal after the event, but it was not getting better.
“I just knew in my heart that I didn’t have enough time to rehab it.”
Bishop-Nriagu said her body is just not ready for that type of load right now, adding it has been a frustrating period for here.
“This entire year, the goal was getting to the Worlds,” she said. “But also, at the same time, I kept telling myself if it didn’t work out, the big goal is Tokyo 2020.
“No matter what happened this year, Tokyo is my main focus,” she added. “It was really hard to make the decision though because I feel like I have so much more left to do, but I can’t do it. My body can’t hold up, it’s been injury after injury and I simply need to get more work in and I just don’t have the time to do it. So we’re going to take a few weeks, off, reset, kind of let go of everything and step away from the sport for a few weeks, then in a couple weeks I’ll start my training for Tokyo.”
She said it would be a year in October since she started training after her daughter’s birth, and she is hopeful her body will co-operate with her once she resumes her workouts.
“So I should be okay to do some indoor races this year,” she noted.
She admitted there had been a lot of stress this past week and a lot of tears were shed as she prepared for her decision.
“I take it very seriously, this is my job,” she stated. “So to have to say that I have to cut things short and not really achieve my goals that I’ve set out.
“I want to perform at the end of the day, I want to be a factor and I want to be the best in the world,” she continued. “And to have to say I can’t do that is extremely difficult, but in the long run I know it’s best for me.”
Bishop-Nriagu said a decision of this magnitude would not be possible without the incredible support system she has surrounding her.
“I’ve been on so many emails,” she said. “The doctors that I work with, my coach, my therapist, I don’t think we’ve ever talked so much from that standpoint.
“Then, also the people I rely on the most, Osi (husband Osi Nriagu), my family, my friends, they’ve all been great through all of this,” she added. “And I’ve had a real outpouring of support since my posting and I’ve had a lot of messages of support, so I know I’m okay.”
In her post, Bishop-Nriagu asked the public to not lose faith in her. For anyone who knows how dedicated and determined the daughter of Doug and Alison Bishop is, get ready to cheer her on in Tokyo.