World Para Powerlifting Invitational Championship: Nigerian athletes bag 7 Gold medals on Day 1

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The Lagos Oriental Hotel was a beehive of activities on Monday as Nigerian athletes eased to outstanding victories on Day 1 of the World Para Powerlifting Invitational Championship.

The invitational competition, which had seven countries across Africa register to compete, got underway at noon on Monday and the Powerlifters did not disappoint, delivering spectacular performances to the delight of spectators.

First on the list was Nigeria’s Loveth Abokin, who clinched Gold in the 45kg category after lifting a weight of 93kg. She edged her compatriot Rukayat Ajiboye, who also lifted 93kg – but on her second attempt – to claim Silver. Chinonso Onyebueke won Bronze medal in the category with a result of 80kg.

Esther Nworgu won Nigeria’s second Gold medal in the afternoon, lifting 95kg to claim victory in the 41kg category. Lucy Ihuoma won Nigeria a Silver medal in the category with a result of 85kg while Cote d’Ivoire’s Akissi Michelle Kouadio settled for Bronze.

In the men’s 49kg category, Nigeria’s Yakubu Adesokan was simply peerless, picking Gold with a lift of 180kg. Emmanuel Ugwu and Punshak Istifanus made it a clean sweep for Nigeria in the category, winning Silver and Bronze respectively.

Nigeria’s Oluwatoyosi Osewa bagged Gold in the women’s 50kg category with a lift of 105kg while her compatriot Chidinma Nnadi lifted 102kg to bag for Silver. Cameroon’s Suzanne Meto Menye claimed Bronze in the category.

Commonwealth Gold medalist Esther Oyema put her disappointing show at the National Sports Festival behind as she made a lift of 125kg in the 55kg category to clinch Gold. Onyinyechi Mark and Ifeoluwa Alake won Silver and Bronze medals respectively for Nigeria in the category.

In the Juniors, Istifanus clinched Gold in the men’s 49kg with a lift of 121kg while Onyinyechi Mark had the 55kg category title to herself.

At the end of the day, team Nigeria garnered a total of 15 medals – 7 Gold, 5 Silver and 3 Bronze.

Day 2 of the competition – Tuesday is scheduled to be much more action packed as athletes are billed to participate in the men’s 54kg, 59kg, 65kg, 72kg categories and the women’s 61kg, 67kg and 73kg categories.

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