Team Nigeria won eighteen medals made up of seven gold, seven silver and four bronze medals in the senior categories for men and women and a further five gold medals in the junior ranks in Day 2 of the ongoing World Para Powerlifting Invitational Competition taking place at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.
Paralympics record holder and 2018 Commonwealth gold medallist Rowland Ezuruike continued his four year golden streak by clinching yet another gold medal with a lift of 190kg in the senior men’s up to 54kg class. 2018 National Sports Festival silver medallist Osaro Abimbola was second with a lift of 140kg while Jean Elvis Yapo of Ivory Coast took bronze with a lift of 110kg.
Nigeria’s second gold medal came in the men’s up to 59kg class through Rufai Olalekan who put in a flawless routine to take first with a lift of 180kg. Dauda Ibrahim lifted 170kg to take silver while Abass Kazeem ensured it was an all Nigerian podium by lifting 125kg for bronze.
Rasaq Mufutau posted the performance of the day when he upset world record holder and firm favourite Paul Kehinde to take gold in the senior men’s up to 65kg. Both men had lifted 185kg apiece but Kehinde who was unsuccessful at 200kg in his final attempt lost out to Rasaq by virtue of weighing more than Rasaq. Ando Adou Herve of Ivory Coast took the bronze medal with a lift of 164kg.
In the senior men’s up to 72kg class, Nnadi Innocent was simply peerless in taking gold with a lift of 200kg. Yusuf Akeem took silver with a lift of 152kg while Oku Emmanuel settled for bronze by lifting 150kg.
In the senior women’s events, world and Paralympics record holder Lucy Ejike expectedly clinched gold with a lift of 130kg in the up to 61kg class. Maria Komo and Temitope Oladele took silver and bronze with lifts of 105kg and 70kg respectively.
Olaitan Ibrahim came out tops in the senior women’s up to 67kg class with a lift of 125kg; Azu Virginia was second with 100kg while Okenwa Victoria completed the podium with a lift of 90kg.
In the day’s last event, Pauline Okpala was victorious in the senior women’s up to 73kg with a lift of 127kg; she was followed by Almaruf Kalifa who lifted 115kg to take silver while the bronze medal went to Olorunwa Oluwasola who lifted 62kg.
In the junior ranks Olorunwa Oluwasola, Victoria Okenwa, Oladele Temitope, Abass Kazeem and Rasaq Mufutau all won gold in their respective weight classes.
The competition comes to a close on Wednesday with action in the senior men’s up to 80kg, up to 88kg, up to 97kg, up to 107kg and up to +107kg weight classes, while in the senior women’s category athletes will compete in the up to 79kg, up to 86kg and up to +86kg weight classes.