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Nigeria-Para Powerlifters target gold in Paris 2024

Posted : 27 March 2024

Nigeria's Para Powerlifting Team has assured of winning more gold medals for the country at the upcoming Olympics in Paris.

The country's para powerlifters won seven gold medals at the just-concluded Para Powerlifting World Cup in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

Folashade Oluwafemi, the team captain, made the pledge on Tuesday in Lagos after arriving from Egypt.

Oluwafemi, a gold medalist who competed in the 86kg women's event at the tournament, said that the team was ready to make Nigerians proud at the Paris Olympics.

"Though we still have a final competition in Georgia before the Olympics, we are sure that our team will come out in flying colors and make the country proud again," she said.

She appealed for more sponsorship from both private and corporate organizations to enable the athletes to compete at local and international competitions.

"We want the government to camp us early for training before competitions because most competitors spend months in camp prior to major tournaments.

"Early camping will give us the upper hand at tournaments over our competitors," she said.

Esther Nworgu, also a gold medalist, said she is adequately prepared physically and mentally to make a positive impact at the Olympics.

"My target is to win medals at the tournament because Nigeria has good records when it comes to Para Powerlifting globally, and our target is to maintain that record.

"The secret to our success is God, perseverance, and determination because we have 63 other countries competing," she said.

Nworgu called for the support of organizations and governments to enable the team to prepare adequately for competitions.

"We are facing serious financial challenges; the government cannot do it alone, that's why we are appealing to well-meaning Nigerians, private, and corporate organizations to come to our aid," she said.

Mr. Charles Ezenwanne, the President of the Para Powerlifting Federation, applauded the excellent performance of the athletes at the tournament.

According to him, their performance was the best ever, with seven gold and two silver medals from 10 athletes.

"This is the best performance so far, but we give thanks to God for giving us success at the tournament.

"Technically, we prepared our athletes; we camped them for eight days with technical directors and two coaches, and the athletes were certified before they left for Egypt," he said.

Ezenwanne said that the team would also be preparing for the final competition in Georgia before proceeding to the Olympics in France.

"All we need now is financial assistance for our athletes to perform better at their next competitions.

"Though the federation is trying its best, we still need other corporate organizations to join hands in boosting the morale of these athletes for better performance," he said.


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