33 year-old Monzavous Edwards speaks exclusively to MAKING OF CHAMPIONS after finishing 2nd in the 100 metres (in 10.39s into -2.3 m/s headwind) at the 2014 Nigerian Trials
Monzavous, how are you feeling about your performance?
I’ll take it. I know it’s not my best, but you can never complain when the main focus was to make it to the Commonwealth. I finished in the Top 3, so the main objective was completed. I’m not satisfied, nor happy with my result, but like I said, I’ll take it.
These Trials and the Warri Relays last week – is it your first times competing for Team Nigeria?
Can you tell us about your journey from competing for USA to Nigeria – what made you decide to make the switch?
It was an appreciation for the sport, and more of an appreciation of me as an athlete and a sprinter. In America there’s so much competition that it is hard to be appreciated for all the hard work that you put in. And having the chance to get with my family and switch to Nigeria. Since I’ve made that switch, I’ve felt more than appreciated as a professional athlete. So that was the main reason for it.
You mentioned your family just now. Can you tell us a bit about that – what are your connections to Nigeria, in terms of your heritage?
It’s from my grandparents. Actually, it’s from my great-great-grandparents, if I said that right. Let me see…1, 2 (counts on his fingers)…yeah I said it right.
So what’s your PB in the 100 metres?
Wow, that’s impressive. When did you do that?
What are your hopes for the Commonwealth Games, and competing for Team Nigeria generally – do you think you can take your PB lower?
Actually, I know I can because for the last 2 years I have dealt with injuries so it’s been a climb to get back. I know where my training is at, and I know where I am at. I’ve only been here a week, and it usually takes my body up to 10 days to get acclimated, so I know that I am sub-10 ready. For the Commonwealth Games I am looking to make sure that I win, with something around the 9.8 range, because I will have time to get there and get used to it. Athletes are different and bodies are different. Some athletes can get acclimated quicker, some take longer. I’ve been doing this sport for some years now and it takes me about 10 days.
You better get to Glasgow quickly then?
Yeah I already told them, I need to be in Glasgow like 2 weeks before!
Is this your first time in Nigeria? What has the experience been like so far?
Yes. So far I have loved. I have to be honest with you, I have loved every bit of it. The weather is a bit hot, but other than that it’s been wonderful
Final question for you. Best to get this out of the way now because you will get it later on down the line – can you tell us about the gold teeth?
Well, I had an accident back in 2013 – I actually have a metal plate in my chin, and I lost some teeth in the accident, so I had my mouth wired shut for 3 months, so that’s actually how I got the gold teeth.
Was it a car accident?
No actually I fainted – I had a mild seizure and when I fell, I fell on my face. So this is a metal plate – I lost all these teeth at the top, and the ones at the bottom don’t work as the nerves are dead.
Wow, so there’s a good reason for it.
Oh yeah, yeah. It’s not for fashion! Definitely not for fashion!