Nigeria’s lifters, Roland Ezuruike and Omolayo Bose on Friday morning added to the country’s medal haul at the ongoing World Para-Powerlifting Championships in Mexico.
Roland Ezuruike won his first world title in the men’s up to 54kg. The Nigerian cleared the bar at 175kg in his first attempt and 180kg in his second, but failed to lift 184kg in his third.
He was far from the 200kg he lifted at Rio 2016, but was still full of joy.
“I am so happy! I had an injury while preparing for the World Championships and did not get here in my best possible form. So this gold medal was an absolute surprise!” said Paralympic champion Ezuruike while playing with his medal, posing with it for the photographers and showing it to everyone.
Vietnam’s Binh An Nguyen was close to taking gold but failed in his third attempt at 184kg and instead claimed silver thanks to his 178kg lift in the first round.
European champion and Paralympic bronze medallist Dimitrios Bakochristos finished in third place after lifting 170kg, the same as China’s Jian Wang, but the Greek reached the podium thanks to his lower body weight (53.02 to 53.42).
A disappointed Omolayo lifted 129kg in the women’s +79kg to win silver.
A defiant Omolayo told paralympic.org, “I cannot believe I lost to Lili. I cannot lose to her. But I will be back. I am coming back for Tokyo 2020, beat her and win gold”.
Xu Lili took revenge from last year’s defeat to Nigeria’s Bose Omolayo at Rio 2016 by not only winning the women’s up to 79kg but also taking her world record.
The Chinese lifted 138.5kg, just half a kilo more than the 138kg mark that Omolayo had set at last year´s Paralympic Games.