Video: ‘I was rolling on the floor and thanking God’ – Family of 100m European champion James Dasaolu on their sprint star

Great Britain's James Dasaolu celebrates winning the Men's 100m Final in Zurich on Wednesday. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire. Great Britain's James Dasaolu celebrates winning the Men's 100m Final in Zurich on Wednesday. Photo: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

Friday, August 15, 2014
9:45 AM

When James Dasaolu dipped for the finish line to claim the European 100m title on Wednesday night, the celebrations in a corner of Heartsease were more intense than most.

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New European men's 100m champion James Dasaolu, pictured at 6 months old.New European men's 100m champion James Dasaolu, pictured at 6 months old.

The sprinter’s mother and father, Abosede and Akintola, own Steve McDonald News in Witard Road, where friends and family were yesterday visiting to congratulate them on the 26-year-old being crowned the fastest man in Europe.

Mrs Dasaolu said the nerves she experiences whenever her eldest son races had stopped her watching the final live on television with her children Christianah, 25, Emmanuel, 19, and 17-year-old Jeremiah.

“I was praying for him and doing some housework upstairs. Then I heard the boys shouting and I said ‘What’s happening?’”

After rushing downstairs, she found out her son had become men’s European 100m champion.

James Dasaolu's mother, Akintola, and father, Abosede Dasaolu, at their Newsagents shop, Witard Road. Picture: Denise Bradley.James Dasaolu's mother, Akintola, and father, Abosede Dasaolu, at their Newsagents shop, Witard Road. Picture: Denise Bradley.

“I was rolling on the floor and thanking God – I was so happy for him,” she added.

Her husband said James had targeted the European Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, after injury meant he was overlooked for England’s Commonwealth Games team.

Mr Dasaolu, 54, said: “I was fairly confident that he could win, and even though he had butterflies in my tummy, I knew that he could do it.”

Mr and Mrs Dasaolu and their family moved to Norwich from London in 2007.

He said the family had not yet spoken to James about his victory, but were due to talk via Skype last night, and would go for a celebratory meal next time he visited Norwich from his Loughborough training base.

Despite safely securing gold in a time of 10.06 seconds, the sprinter was still dissatisfied with parts of his performance, his father said.

“He looks at the bigger picture – he knows the Americans, the Jamaicans are running fast and if he’s going to be able to dominate his field that’s where he’s looking,” he said.

“Each time he runs he wants to dip under 10 seconds. He wasn’t very happy not to do that yesterday, but it was good enough to win gold.”

• Do you dream of going for gold? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

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