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Paris Olympics: Nigerian weightlifters begin Intense training camp

As the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris approach, Nigerian weightlifters Lawal Rafiatu Folashade and Eze Joy Ọgbonne have commenced an intense training camp.

Qualified Weightlifters

Lawal and Eze are the only two Nigerian weightlifters who qualified for the Olympics, based on the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Olympic Qualification Rankings released in May 2024.

  • Lawal Rafiatu Folashade:
    • Category: 59kg women’s
    • Ranking: 8th
    • Total Lift: 227kg
    • Achievements: 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2023 Africa Games gold medalist
  • Eze Joy Ọgbonne:
    • Category: 71kg women’s
    • Ranking: 9th
    • Total Lift: 239kg
    • Achievement: 2023 Africa Games gold medalist
READ MORE: Nigerian track athletes shine on day 1 of NCAA Championships

Missed Qualification

Edidiong Umoafia, despite winning three gold medals at the African Games in Accra and lifting a total of 319kg in the 73kg men’s category, was ranked 24th and did not qualify as only the top 10 athletes were eligible.

Training and Preparation

The Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), led by Dr. Ibrahim Abdul, is determined to ensure that the athletes perform admirably at the Olympics. Following their return from the Africa Games in March, Lawal and Eze were immediately placed in a training camp in Abuja starting April 24, 2024.

Dr. Ibrahim Abdul emphasised the importance of early preparation to maintain the athletes’ competitive edge. He expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the Honourable Minister for Sports, Senator John Enoh, for initiating general camping for all Olympic athletes. Abdul noted, “The reason we started camping early is because we want to keep them in competitive mood. Both of them won three gold medals each at the African Games, so we felt it is important we don’t allow them to lose their competitive spirit.”

Future Training Plans

Lawal and Eze will join other Olympic athletes in Germany from July 1st for continued preparation before heading to France for the Olympic Games.

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