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2023 Para Games: Oyo athletes optimistic of winning medals

Posted : 10 December 2023

Some athletes representing Oyo State at the 2023 Para Games have expressed optimism about winning gold medals in the games.

The athletes, in separate interviews, disclosed that they will not only win medals but also set new records.

Olympian Yakubu Adesokan said that he won't be competing in this year's edition but will be acting as a coach. Adesokan mentioned that he is showcasing seven weightlifters whom he's confident will make the state proud.

"I competed in 2022 and won two gold medals. I trained our representatives for this year's event. I decided to share my knowledge over the years with them. One girl and six boys are taking part in Weightlifting, and I'm confident about their skills. I can say categorically that the weightlifters will win six medals with God on our side," he said.

Oluwatoyin Alayode, who will be competing in canoeing, said that she won five bronze medals in 2022, and her target is gold.

"I have put in so much effort into training to win a gold medal. I have what it takes to win it. I'll be taking part in the 200m and 500m of KL2 and also 200m and 500m of VAA VL2," she said.

A para-swimmer, Akorede Moses, said that at the maiden edition, he set an African record and won two gold medals. Moses mentioned that he will be taking part in three events, and his target is getting gold medals.

"My target is the three gold medals and setting new records in the events. I have done it once, and I'm hoping to do it again," he said.

The General Manager of Oyo State Sports Council, Tunde Ajibike, said that the athletes had undergone six months of training for the Games. Ajibike expressed confidence in their skills, citing their good performance in the maiden edition.

"They are motivated, and the state government will reward those who win medals after the competition. Those who win medals at the end of this competition will go for qualifiers for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris," he said.

A total of 57 athletes will take part in the competition from December 8th to December 14th. They will participate in para athletics, para cycling, para swimming, para canoeing, para karate, para powerlifting, para table tennis, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair tennis.

In the maiden edition in 2022, Oyo State came second with 24 gold, 15 silver, and 21 bronze medals.


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