Nigeria para powerlifters

Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports, has commended Nigeria’s para powerlifters for their impressive performance at the just concluded African Open Championships that ended in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria emerged second with a total of 61 medals, setting two records in the tournament.

Dare, in a statement issued on Monday, said that over 166 athletes; 104 males and 62 females from 27 countries competed in 10 weight classes at the championships.

NAN reports that Nworgu Esther, 41kg, won eight gold medals, with new two world records, while Tijani Latifat, 45kg won two gold, one silver and one bronze with African record.

Bejide Bose, 50kg, won one gold and two silver, Mark Onyinyechi Gift, 61kg, won four gold medals with two world records, while Thomas Kure, 65kg, won four silver medals and Ejike Lucy 67kg, eight silver medals.

Almaruf Kafilat ,73kg, won four gold medals, with new African record, Ezurike Roland 54kg won gold medals, while Omolayo Bose 79kg won two gold, one silver and one bronze with a new world record.

Oluwafemiayo Folashade, 86kg, won four gold medals, Obiji Loveline, +86kg won four gold medals, while women’s team events won five gold medals.

Dare noted that the performance of Nigeria’s contingent underlined the country’s status as a leading force in para powerlifting with her strong winning culture and competitive mentality.

“We must not take things for granted or rest on our oars because other countries are beginning to focus more on this sport, so as to knock us off our stride.

“We must keep improving and never stop developing new strategies that will keep us at this level of dominance and even go higher, as the sport evolves and new rules and techniques are developed,” he said.

Also, Chiemeka Ezenwanne, President, Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, said that this edition of the African Open Championships is the biggest ever.

Ezenwanne noted that the championships allowed participants outside of the continent for the first time.

“I am excited that our team is starting very well and is making us proud.

“Having won two medals on the second day of the championships is very commendable. I am certain that if we are able to emerge winner in this tournament, the government will recognise all our efforts the more.

“I am sure we will be supported for the Olympics coming up in 2024 in Paris,” he said. (NAN)