Nigeria`s Para Powerlifter’s team confident of securing more gold medals at Paris Olympics

Nigeria`s Para Powerlifter’s Team has assured of winning more Gold medals for the country at the upcoming Olympics in Paris.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that 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 Captain of the team made the pledge   in an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Lagos, after arriving  from Egypt.

Oluwafemi, a Gold Medalist in the 86kg women’s event at the tournament, expressed confidence that the team is prepared to bring glory to Nigeria at the Paris Olympics. Despite having a final competition in Georgia before the Olympics, she believes the team will excel and uphold the nation’s pride. Oluwafemi also appealed for increased sponsorship from private and corporate organizations to support the athletes in both 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 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 other 63 countries competing,” she said.

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

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

Nigeria`s Para Powerlifter’s Team
Nigeria`s Para Powerlifter’s Team

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

Their performance was the best ever with seven gold and two Silver medals from 10 athletes, according to him.

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“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 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 Georgia final competition 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 but we still need other corporate organisations to join hands in boosting the morale of these athletes for better performance,” he concluded.

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