By: Sunny Canto
Nigeria Weightlifters who has camped for five weeks at MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja left today afternoon from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja ahead of their competition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to take part in the 2023 IWF Championship.
However, the world event that is billed from Monday, September 4th-17th September, will also serves as the 2024 Paris Olympic Games qualifier.
Interestingly, the 'Giant of Africa' athletes with eagles eye and lion heart is consist of six lifters and three officials for Nigeria which is made up of two men and four women.
Olarinoye Adenike Adijat 59kg, Eze Joy Ogbonne 71kg, Lawal Rafiat Folashade 59kg, Edidiong Joseph Umoafia 73kg, Desmond Akano 89kg, Ayodele Ruth Imolede 64kg will be looking forward to France 2024 Olympic qualification.
Speaking to journalist, the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation President, told us "We're up to the task because our athletes are naturally born champions and they're not under pressure" he affirm.
"Our target is to qualify for the Olympics, break the 1996 jinx as well as return home with some medals having trained for weeks" he added.
According competition schedules released by the IWF, Folashade Lawal and Adijat Olarinoye, who both won three gold and three silver medals respectively at the 2023 Senior Africa Weightlifting Championship in Tunisia in May this year, will compete in the 59kg women’s category on 7th September by 11.30am
Edidiong Umofia will compete in the 73kg men’s category on 8th September by 12noon while Akano Desmond will take his turn in the 89kg men’s category two days later, on 10th by 9.30am
Ayodele Ruth and Eze Joy Ogbenne will compete in the 64kg and 71kg women’s categories on the 10th by 2:30pm and 7:30pm same day, respectively.
Nigeria had a glorious outing in their first Olympic Games qualifying race in Tunisia four months ago when five athletes amassed 12 medals at the 2023 Senior Africa Weightlifting Championship in Tunisia, which also served as 2024 Olympic Games.
Also, the 2023 IWF Championship has a registered 117 participating countries with 719 lifters made up of 365 men and 354 women.
Nigeria weightlifters will participate in more three championship qualifiers as they seek to return the country to the global weightlifting map in the 2024 Olympics Games in Paris, France.
In summary, with the assurance form both Coaches during a Media chat with Press men, daily motivation and visitation by the NWF boss, adequate medical care, allowances, welfare provided; the sky only can be their limit.
The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) has expressed readiness ahead of the 2nd Governor Diri National Wrestling Classics as over 800 Wrestlers across the country from different states and clubs compete for honours.
The National Classics which will hold at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Samson Siasia Sports Complex, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, from August 4th to 10th, 2023, will serve as qualifiers for the forthcoming Pre-Olympic World championships in Serbia.
Speaking to newsmen in Yenagoa, the president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation Champion Hon Daniel Igali said that Nigerians should expect Wrestling at its best in the National Classics.
Champion Igali noted that the records in the wrestling federation at international events speak volumes for the federation, adding that the nation’s athletes are prepared for the Classics in Yenagoa.
While reflecting on the talents at the disposal of the Wrestling Federation, Champion Igali stressed that the future of wrestling in Nigeria is bright.
Champion Daniel Igali singled out the magnanimity of the Bayelsa State Government for the continual sponsorship of the National Wrestling Classics since 2019.
Meanwhile, a board member of the Wrestling Federation Jackson Bidei expressed optimism as the National showpiece get set in Yenagoa.
According to the legendary former wrestler, Yenagoa will be in agog as 36 states across Nigeria and the FCT, coupled with 20 clubs and Military and Paramilitary battle for laurels.
Earlier in a separate remarks, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Bayelsa State Mrs Grace Alagoa and Director of Sports Bayelsa State Sports Council Sir Wodi Braveman hinted the preparedness of Team Bayelsa while highlighting the numerous achievements of the Sports Ministry under the Douye Diri led administration.
Astonishing outing despite several delays faced by the athletes who departed for the continental showpiece slated for March 26th-31st in Tunisia.
African Champion Blessing Oborududu, Commonwealth Champions Odunayo Adekuoroye and Aminat Adeniyi as well as Mercy Genesis, Ifeoma Nwoye, Sunmisola Balogun, Hannah Reuben, Emmanuel Ogbonnaya, Amas Daniel, all African champions in their respective weight classes has made Nigeria proud.
Team NIGERIA (female) has claimed Nine medals: 5 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze at the just concluded Africa Wrestling Championship thereby retaining their crown as (First position), Tunisia (2nd position), Egypt (3rd position).
Nigeria finest and 4th ranking in the World, Odunayo Adekuoroye has combine force with Blessing Oborududu and 7 others to make the 2019 African Wrestling Championship held in Hammamet, Tunisia; a memorable outing.
Aside from hosting the previous edition in Port-Harcourt where they emerged overall champions, they also had a good outing in a tour at Germany and Bulgaria.
Indeed, Coach Purity Akuh is a living legend with vast experience in Wrestling as a result raising and fostering dreams of super stars.
The Wrestlers success has given credence to Daniel Igali leadership and commitment towards the athletes.
Nigeria Wrestling Federation boss who has enjoy stardom as an Olympian, willingly give out all it take for them to achieve their dreams.
Congratulations to them!