International Weightlifting Federation Championship: Nigeria contingents depart Nigeria for IWF Championship
Posted : 05 September 2023
On Tuesday, September 5th, six Nigerian weightlifters and three officials embarked on a journey from Lagos, Nigeria to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Championship, which also doubles as the qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games. The championship began on Monday, September 4, and is set to conclude on Sunday, September 17.
According to Mr. Amaechi Agbo, the Media Officer of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), the Nigerian contingent consists of six weightlifters, comprising two men and four women, along with three officials. They departed from Lagos' Murtala Mohammed International Airport on Tuesday via Ethiopian Airlines.
Nigeria will be competing in six weightlifting categories at the championship. In the men's division, Umofia Edidiong will compete in the 73kg category, and Akano Desmond will represent Nigeria in the 89kg category. In the women's division, Lawal Folashade Rafiatu and Olarinoye Adijat Adenike will compete in the 59kg category, while Eze Joy Ogbenne and Ayodele Ruth Imoleayo will participate in the 71kg and 64kg categories, respectively.
The three officials accompanying the athletes are Ojadi Aduche, Usman Shehu, and Okpo Dorothy Bernard.
The competition schedule released by the IWF reveals that Folashade Lawal and Adijat Olarinoye, who both clinched three gold and three silver medals at the 2023 Senior Africa Weightlifting Championship in Tunisia earlier this year, will compete in the 59kg women's category on September 7th at 11:30 am. Edidiong Umofia will compete in the 73kg men's category on September 8th at 12:00 pm, while Akano Desmond will participate in the 89kg men's category on September 10th at 9:30 am. Ayodele Ruth and Eze Joy Ogbenne will take on the 64kg and 71kg women's categories on September 10th at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, respectively.
Nigeria achieved remarkable success in their initial Olympic Games qualifying endeavor in Tunisia, amassing 12 medals at the 2023 Senior Africa Weightlifting Championship, which also served as the qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games. The weightlifters, who have been in training camp for the past two months, are optimistic about strengthening their qualification prospects for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The 2023 IWF Championship boasts a record participation with 117 countries represented and a total of 719 lifters, comprising 365 men and 354 women. Nigerian weightlifters are gearing up for three more championship qualifiers as they aim to reestablish Nigeria on the global weightlifting stage at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.