By Motolani Ayeniloye
Basking in the euphoria of the performance of his athletes at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Ruel Ishaku, President of Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation, believes Team Nigeria should expect more medals from his wards.
As at the last count on Monday morning, Nigeria’s powerlifters have won 3 gold, 1 silver and two bronze medals in Tokyo.
Ishaku said the federation brought only 10 athletes to the Games, adding that six of them have won medals already. He is optimistic that the country’s powerlifters would win more medals, thanking Minister of Sports and Youth Development Sunday Dare for his constant support for special needs athletes.
“I believe our powerlifters will bring home more medals from the Games. We have the potential, but they need more backing from the government, corporations, and well-intentioned individuals to help them achieve greater heights in the sport.
“With only 10 athletes, we came to Tokyo 2020 Paralympics with two golds and two bronze medals,” Ishaku added. “We’re hoping for more medals as the Games progresses.”
At the Tokyo International Forum, Bose Omolayo gave Team Nigeria their second gold medal in powerlifting on Sunday. Omolayo, competed in the women’s -79kg category, lifted a world record 141kg to win the country’s second gold medal at the Games. Latifat Tijani had earlier gave the country its first gold medal of the Games in the women’s under-45 kilogram category.
Olaitan Ibrahim and Lucy Ejike won two bronze medals, putting Nigeria in 27th place after Day Seven.
On Monday, Oluwafemiayo Folashade won a gold medal. She also went on to set new Paralympic and world records in the 85kg Para Powerlifting. She lifted the weight in this order – 147, 149, 152, while in +86kg, Loveliine Obiji ended her event with a silver medal at 147kg after she failed last attempt of 152kg.