Board members of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), coaches and athletes on Friday reacted to the performance of Team Nigeria lifters participating at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Technical Representative NWF, Chris Nwadei said the junior lifers were impressive and respectable by all standard. He revealed to www.aclsports.com that the senior lifters could not attend two qualifiers last year.
He said “Very impressive and respectable performance by all standard, considering the fact that they are junior lifters who are competing against senior lifters who are more experienced and well prepared”.
“You will recall that our senior lifters could not attend the two qualification events last year, which was held in Mauritius and Australia as a result of lack of funds”.
The Athletes Representative, Maryam Usman said the four athletes are junior, hence need more exposure if they are to match up with other lifters in the world.
“You all know how hard it is to be an athlete in Nigeria. You’ll be given little or nothing and they be expecting a whole lot from you. Besides those athletes are juniors they need more exposures like this to grow. Kudos to them and the technical crew”, the 2008 Beijing bronze medallist said.
In the same vein, Former coach of the Weightlifting junior team, Sefiya Onubaye said, “These athlete tried to say the gospel truth. Kudos to them and may Almighty Allah see the remaining last lifter through and give them the strength and courage to overcome and win”.
Former African Champion, Sunday Ikechukwu said it calls for more work for the Weightlifting Federation.
“The truth is bitter but it will teach the federation a lesson to go for more qualification events to enable our lifters to improve”.
“It is a very good experience outing for this junior athletes and I think the federation will know what to do after this Games because weightlifting is one of the key sports that give Nigeria gold medals at the Games” the 2000 Sydney Olympic athlete said.
National Champion, Olawale Oredugba said, “we must be realistic, they (the junior athletes) have given all the best they can, so we need to praise them and talk to the ministry to improve their preparation and packages”.
Nigeria former fastest man, Deji Aliu “On a personal note, I think it’s a good outing for the lifters considering our previous best”.
Meanwhile, Felix Cobham is of the opinion that Nigeria have better lifters than the ones paraded at the 2018 Commonwealth Games “These are not the best weightlifters, but pls let’s face the truth here. These weightier are junior athlete, we still have the best if selected well.
Nigeria is represented by Michael Chinemerem, Favour Agboro, Monica Uweh and Fatima Yakubu; all junior athletes