Victoria Park Harrier arrives at Glasgow Commonwealth Games to compete
PUBLISHED: 11:36 23 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:39 23 July 2014
Like something out of a comic book, mild mannered security guard Gibrilla Bangura has transformed into his sprinter alter ego to compete in the Commonwealth Games.
The mall cop, who fits training at Mile End Stadium around shifts at the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, Barking, took the five-hour train to Glasgow on Monday in time for the official launch of the Games today (Weds).
It will be the third Commonwealth Games for the 100m runner of Bentry Road, Dagenham, who will be representing his native Sierra Leone having been selected for the national team aged just 16.
The dad-of-three, now 28, narrowly missed out on competing in the London 2012 Olympic Games due to a lower back injury. He competes locally for Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club.
Speaking to the Advertiser from his room in the athlete’s village yesterday, he said his morning training had been going well but that it had been hard to fit in around his work.
In recent weeks he has been training daily from 9am to 11am at Mile End Stadium, Tower Hamlets, before going to work from 12.30am to 10.30pm.
“It has been tough, but I have a lot of responsibility to carry,” he said. “I have my national duty so I just make the sacrifices. I will give it my best on the day – you guys will see it on the TV.”
The athlete hopes to perform close to his personal best time of 10.09secs, but for now is enjoying the atmosphere in the village.
“I’m with all the different nationalities, everybody is up and on their game,” he said. “It’s a great atmosphere.”