By Victor Kanayo
After taking part at the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Team Nigeria are back with medals.
The contingent arrived via the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after participating in the competition which serves as 2024 Olympic Games qualification.
The athletes include Folashade Rafiatu Lawal and Olarinoye Adenike Adijat both of who competed in the 59kg women category as well as Ayodele Ruth Imoleayo, who won the three medals in 64kg women category and Edidiong Umoafia who competed in 73kg men category.
Heritage Times HT gathered that the second and last batch of the contingent comprising two athletes – Joy Eze Ogbonne who competed in 71kg women category and Akano Desmond who competed in 89kg men category have also returned.
Nigeria consolidated her Olympic Games qualification aspirations as two lifters – Imoleayo and Lawal made it into the top 10 positions in the IWF Championship.
Ayodele who won the three medals – two silver and a bronze – in 64kg women category after 100kg in snatch and 122kg in clean and Jerk making a total of 222kg lift is placed second on the IWF Championship final table.
Lawal was placed 6th in the championship table after she had 100kg in snatch, 122kg in clean and Jerk and 222kg in total in the 59kg women category. Her fellow compatriot, Adijat was placed 15th on the overall table in the same category with a total of 215kg lift.
Ogbenne who competed in 71kg women category was placed 14th in the overall table after lifting a total of 227kg.
Competing in 73kg and 89kg men’s categories respectively, Umoafia Edidiong and Akano Desmond with total lifts of 310kg and 338kg were placed 18th and 22nd on the table.
Three More To Go
Nigeria will participate in three more competitions before their Olympic tickets are determined.
They include IWF Grand Prix, Doha, Qatar, 1-17 December, 2023; Africa Championship, February 25 to March 2, 2024, and IWF World Cup, Phuket, Thailand, April 2024.