The final batch of Nigerian weightlifters at the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation, IWF, Championship have returned to the country after winning three medals at the tournament that took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
They arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Thursday after consolidating their 2024 Olympic Games qualification hopes.
This was disclosed in a statement on Saturday by Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, NWF, Media Officer, Amaechi Agbo.
Recall that the IWF Championship, organised by world weightlifting body, IWF, also serves as the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.
The first batch of the contingent had returned on Monday after completing their competition.
The athletes include Folashade Rafiatu Lawal and Olarinoye Adenike Adija.
Lawal and Adija both competed in the 59kg women’s category.
Other athletes include Ayodele Ruth Imoleayo, who won the three medals in 64kg women’s category, and Edidiong Umoafia, who competed in 73kg men’s category.
Also, the second and last batch of the contingent comprising two athletes – Joy Eze Ogbonne – who competed in 71kg women’s category and Akano Desmond who competed in 89kg men’s category, returned to the country on Thursday through Ethiopia Airlines at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Meanwhile, Nigeria consolidated her Olympic Games qualification aspirations as two lifters, Imoleayo and Lawal, made it into the top 10 positions in the IWF Championship.
Speaking in Abuja, the Secretary-General of the Federation, Melvina Ashinedu Apeh, said Nigeria’s chances of Paris Olympic Games weightlifting event qualification is still intact.
“Our Olympic qualification is still intact. We have two lifters who made it within the 10th positions in the IWF Championship,” Apeh said.
Nigeria will participate in three more competitions (IWF Grand Prix in Doha, 2023 Africa Championship and IWF World Cup in Thailand) before the Olympic tickets are determined.