Head coach of Team Nigeria’s Para powerlifting team to the International Para Powerlifting Championship being hosted in Lagos, Are Feyisetan says his target is for his wards to win at least eighteen of the twenty gold medals on offer at the Championships which holds at the Oriental Hotel from 28 – 31 January.
Para powerlifters from ten different countries are expected to compete at the event – the first of its kind to be hosted in Nigeria – but Feyisetan believes that many foreign athletes have been put off competing in the Championships out of fear of losing to their Nigerian counterparts.
Nigeria boasts some of the world’s best Para powerlifters in their contingent including the likes of Kehinde Paul, Bose Omolayo, Lucy Ejike, Loveline Obiji, Roland Ezuruike, Ben Nsimi, Ishiaku Ruel, Ibrahim Olaitan, Ibrahim Abdulazeez, Nwosu Ndidi, Oluwafemiayo Folashade, Latifat Tijani and Nnamdi Innocent who the coach believes can gobble up most of the gold medals on offer.
“I want to do better than what we have been doing,” Feyisetan told busybuddiesng.com.
“We have twenty [gold medals] in [the championships] and with the countries that I see coming in, some [of] them are afraid to come into Nigeria because they don’t want us to come and put them to shame so some are not coming but the ones on ground now, we are going to better and make sure that we get out of twenty gold I want to make sure that we get at least eighteen I would try my possible best to make sure it is 18 let’s leave 2 and if it’s possible we might go with the 20 gold.”
Nigeria’s Para powerlifters have the best record of any sporting federation in the country, constantly coming out tops at international events and the coach told busybuddiengs.com that his athletes are motivated by a deep-seated determination to create a meaningful existence for themselves in spite of their physical challenges.
“My athletes are motivated, you know the difference between the able and disabled people is that we put our best into everything that we are doing. So the athletes are ready because they know this is the only way that they can reach out to people, the only way that people can see them and also support them,” Feyisetan said.