Nigeria ended her fine run at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in grand style on Saturday as Paul Kehinde broke the world record in the men’s up to 65kg.
In a clash of Paralympic champions between Kehinde and China’s Liu Lei, the Nigerian prevailed after breaking the world record of 220kg he set at Rio 2016 by lifting 0.5kg more at his maiden World Championships.
World Champion, Paul Kehinde in a chat told aclsports.com that his determination and the backing of God made the feat possible for him in Mexico.
He said there was a little doubt in his mind but believed everything is possible. “You know now, l feel very happy. It’s something I’ve trained for and my determination was that if God counted me among athletes that will be in Mexico, l will break another record”.
“After all the stress and doubts of participation, l believe I got the determination to become a champion”, Kehinde said
Algeria’s Hocine Bettir (188kg) collected bronze, his first medal at a Worlds and Algeria’s only medal of the Championships.
Nigeria’s Loveline Obiji came in second on her comeback to the sport after a two year break following pregnancy. She failed her two first attempts but cleared the bar at 136kg in the third round to reach the podium. Obiji dedicated her medal to her new born. “I want to dedicate this medal to my child. I could not perform to the best of my abilities, but still came to give it all and I am very happy with this medal. I will try claim gold in my next international competition,” she told paralympic.org.
Nigeria won a total number of nine medals consisting of four gold; Folashade Alice Oluwafemiayo (86kg), Paul Kehinde (65kg), Roland Ezuruike (54kg) and Lucy Ejike (61kg); three Silver, Omolayo Bose (+79kg), Olaitan Ibrahim (67kg) and Loveline Obiji (86kg) as well as two Bronze from Yakubu Adesokan (49kg) and Ndidi Nwosu (73kg).
The head female coach Patience Igbiti on her social media page wrote, “God I give you all the glory and honour for what you have done for Nigeria Parapowerlifting team that went for the world championship in Mexico”.
“We came out second in the world glory be to you God. Thank you God for using me as the Head Female Coach. Daddy thank you Again and again” she ended.
Meanwhile, World Para Powerlifting has announced that Sherif Osman has been elected the sport’s first Athlete Liaison following an election which took place during the Mexico City 2017 World Championships in Mexico City.
Egypt’s three-time Paralympic and world champion received 82 votes, finishing ahead of Nigeria’s Rio 2016 gold medallist Lucy Ejike (26) and Great Britain’s 2014 world champion Ali Jawad (24).