Nigeria’s para-powerlifters, yesterday night, returned from Kazakhstan where they took part in the World Para Powerlifting Championships tagged Astana 2019.
The contingent, made up of officials and 14 athletes (male and female) in different categories competed in the mandatory championship which also serves as part of qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in Japan.
Team Nigeria won three gold, three silver and two bronze medals to emerge second after China which came first with seven gold, eight silver and one bronze. About 76 countries participated with 608 athletes competing for laurels.
Speaking to Daily Sun Sports on arrival at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, President of Nigeria Para-powerlifting Federation, Queen Uboh, who lamented the short period of preparation before the championship, said Team Nigeria would have come first, but for injury which claimed four potential gold medalists.
“Four of our athletes were injured so they could not compete, and they are gold medal hopefuls.”
Uboh said the athletes prepared for just three weeks, while their counterparts had three to four months preparations, even as she called on the federal government and corporate bodies to always come to their aid to enable them prepare adequately for the forth coming All African Games, and Tokyo 2020 Para-Games in Japan.
“We went to Kazakhstan, saw and conquered.That’s what we are known for. The athletes were in camp for three weeks.
“We thank all our sponsors, Peak Milk, Lagace Water and the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the support giving to us,” she stated.
Coach of the team, Are Feyisetan said he was happy with the athletes as they showed the Nigerian spirit of ‘never give up’.