A contingent of four lifters and four officials representing Nigeria have arrived in Egypt for the 2024 Africa Senior Weightlifting Championship.
The team, consisting of three women and a man, departed from Nigeria on Saturday morning through the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.
The championship, scheduled to take place in the Egyptian city of Ismailla, kicks off today with the opening ceremony and concludes on February 11. This event serves as a crucial Olympic Games qualifier for the Paris 2024 Games.
The Nigerian lifters aiming to secure their Paris Games ticket include Rafiatu Folashade Lawal and Adijat Adenike Olarinoye in the 59kg women’s category, alongside Joy Ogbonne Eze in the 71kg women’s category. Umoafia Edidiong Joseph will compete in the 73kg men’s category.
Accompanying the athletes are four officials, including coaches Janet Ali, Abdulsalam Kayode, and Onubaye Sefiat, along with referee Iquaibom Lawrence.
Nigeria’s participation in the championship begins on Tuesday, February 6, with 2023 gold medalist Rafiatu Lawal and silver medalist Adijat Olarinoye competing in the 59kg women’s category at 12 noon local time. On the same day, Umoafia Edidiong will participate in the 73kg men’s category from 3 pm. Joy Eze will conclude Nigeria’s involvement on Wednesday, February 7, challenging other African lifters in the 71kg women’s category at 10 am.
In the previous edition of the Championship held in Tunisia in May last year, Nigeria secured an impressive 12 medals, comprising three gold, seven silver, and two bronze.
Following this championship, the Nigerian weightlifters will participate in another Olympic Games qualifier next month during the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Cup, scheduled from March 31 to April 11, 2024, in Phuket, Thailand. The final list of athletes qualified for the 2024 Paris Games will be released through the IWF World Rankings after the last qualifier.