Liverpool star Diogo Jota trains with former sprinter Francis Obikwelu

August 9th, 2021 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Diogo Jota has been training with former sprinter Francis Obikwelu as he looks to get himself in peak physical condition ahead of the new season.

The Portuguese star has already found his scoring boots for Liverpool in pre-season, having returned from his time off following his involvement in the Euros over the summer.

But with his focus now back on Liverpool, Jota has brought in some help in the form of 42-year-old Obikwelu in an attempt to bring the best out of himself and keep up with the pace of his teammates Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.

Obikwelu was born in Nigeria, but became a Portuguese citizen in 2001 and decided to compete for them from that point onwards.

The sprinter won silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens – his time of 9.86 seconds remained his personal best for the duration of his career and is still the European record over the distance.

Obikwelu also won three European Championship golds during his career, and so few are better placed than him to help Jota gain that extra bit of speed.

‘In football, we do a proper pre-season and then there are so many matches until December,’ Jota said.

‘But then there’s still half a season to go, and sometimes we’re dealing with some fatigue and we could use some time to switch off.’

But Obikwelu believes he has the answer to that issue of tiredness and dealing with a hectic schedule of fixtures.

‘I can tell you why you have that issue,’ Obikwelu said. ‘Your nervous system isn’t activated. It’s the body’s engine.’

Jota will be hoping all this advice helps him become a regular in Jurgen Klopp’s side this season.

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