The Sports Minister Sunday Dare has commended Nigeria’s para powerlifters for their impressive showing at the African Open Championships that ended in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday.
Nigeria won a total of twelve medals, nine gold and three silver at the end of the four day event, creating three World Records and two African Records in the process.
The Minister said, “the performance of our contingent underlines the country’s status as a leading force in para powerlifting and our 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,” the Minister advised.
Roland Ezuruike, Esther Nworgu, Latifat Tijani, Kafila Almaruf, Folashade Oluwafemiayo, Onyinyechi Gift Mark, Loveline Obiji and Bose Omolayo won individual gold medals for the country. Nigeria also won gold in the Teams Event for Women.
Bose Bejide, Lucy Ejike and Thomas Kure won the three silver medals. The gold medal won at the Teams Event was however not recorded on the medals table.
This edition of the African Open Championships is the biggest ever as it allowed participants outside of the continent for the first time.
Over 166 athletes (104 male, 62 female) from 27 countries competed in ten weight classes at the Championships.