Nigerian Weightlifters returned home with nine medals at the just concluded International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships and Commonwealth Games qualifiers which were held in Uzbekistan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a total of seven Nigerian lifters, made up of five women and two men represented the country in the 10-day events.
Abdul Ibrahim, President of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), told reporters on Friday in Abuja that the lifters would continue to win medals any time they represented Nigeria.
He praised the lifters for the great achievements they recorded in the championships.
“We won nine medals and I am very happy about this. We showcased what we have achieved in a short time.
“This is just a new beginning, we are going to achieve more than this. It’s not going to be achieved easily but we are going to be well prepared,” he said.
Ibrahim said the federation would organise a training course for coaches and improve their welfare and that of athletes.
He said next year the federation would participate in the Africa weightlifting qualifier in Mauritius.
“We will prepare some other qualified athletes and also make sure that we put our eyes on these current athletes who made Nigeria proud in the just concluded championships.
“We are not going to relax but we are going to continue our training. We are going back to the camp and we will all go back and watch our video clips and see where we can improve on the coaching.
On his part, the Technical Director of NWF, Christopher Nwadei, said the competition was very tough and pointed out that many athletes from various countries had improved a lot.
“We thank God for the little preparation we did and you must be aware that almost 70 countries participated in the championships.
“All the athletes were in high spirit, there was no distractions and we got there and did what we knew how to do best,” he said.
He said the Nigerian team won four out of the 10 gold medals at the Commonwealth qualifiers.
“We won two silver and three bronze medals at the World Championships.
“Stella Kingsley competing in the 50kg won the gold medal in her category.
“Adijat Olarinoye won a gold medal in the Commonwealth qualifiers and silver medal in World Championships and two bronze medals in the 59 kg.
“Joy Eze competed in the 71-kg category, won a gold medal and also won silver in World Championships.
Team Coach Helen Idahosa, a Super Heavyweight Olympian in the year 2000, said she knew the game and knew what it takes to motivate a lifter to give his best.
“I know what it takes to motivate an athlete during the competition and that was what I did,“ she said.
The IWF World Championships and Commonwealth Senior Championships which started on December 7 ended on December 17 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
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