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2024 Paris Olympics: Nigeria Weightlifters commence intense camping in Abuja

Posted : 11 June 2024

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Ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games to be held in Paris, France, starting next month, Nigeria's weightlifters have started intense training, hoping to conquer the world.

The duo of Lawal Rafiatu Folashade and Eze Joy Ọgbonne are Nigeria's weightlifting flagbearers at the Olympics.

Lawal and Eze are the only two weightlifters who qualified for the Olympics following the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) May 2024 Olympic Qualification Rankings released last week.

Lawal, a 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 Africa Games gold medalist, qualified for the Olympics in the 59kg women's category after she was ranked 8th with a total of 227kg.

Eze, a 2023 Africa Games gold medalist, on her part, was ranked 9th in the 71kg women's category with a total of 239kg.

Nigeria could have had three lifters at Paris, but Edidiong Umoafia, who won three gold medals at the African Games in Accra, had a total of 319kg in the 73kg men's category and was ranked 24th.

In the rankings released by IWF, only athletes who are ranked between 1 and 10 qualified for the Olympics.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), under the able leadership of Dr. Ibrahim Abdul, is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the weightlifters make Nigerians proud at the Olympics.

The federation, shortly after the athletes returned from the Africa Games in March, encamped them in Abuja, where they have been training since April 24, 2024.

NWF President, Dr. Ibrahim Abdul, while announcing the Federal Government's general camping for all Olympic athletes, said that the federation started camping ahead of time to keep the athletes in shape.

The President, who lauded the athletes for their heroics at the Accra 2023 Africa Games, said the early camping became imperative so as not to allow the weightlifters to lose their competitive edge.

“First and foremost, the Federal Government, through the Honourable Minister for Sports, Senator John Enoh, has opened general camping for all the athletes who will be participating in the Olympics.

"We at the Weightlifting Federation want to use this medium to thank the minister for his efforts in starting camping for the athletes.

"On our part as a federation, our two athletes, Lawal Rafiatu and Eze Joy, who are the only two weightlifters we have for the Olympics, have been in camp since April 24.

"The moment they returned from the Africa Games, we didn't allow them much time.

"We sent them to camp at the High Performance Centre here in Abuja, and they have been doing well.

“The reason we started camping early is that we want to keep them in a competitive mood.

"You will recall that both of them won three gold medals each at the African Games, so we felt it is important we don't allow them to lose their competitive spirit," he said.

Lawal and Eze will join the other Olympic athletes in Germany from the first of July, in continuation of their preparations before they fly into France for the Olympic Games.


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