World Para Powerlifting Invitational C’ship: Ejike, Ezuruike bag Gold as Nigeria pick 23 medals on Day 2
Team Nigeria continued their sheer dominance in the World Para Powerlifting Invitational Championship on Day 2 as they increased their medal haul to 38!
The hosts picked up from where they stopped on the opening day of the competition, lighting up the Lagos Oriental Hotel venue with spectacular displays on Tuesday afternoon.
Paralympic and Commonwealth champion Roland Ezuruike set the tone for other Nigerian athletes, clinching Gold in the men’s 54kg category in brilliant fashion. A lift of 190kg on his third attempt gave him the win. Abimbola Osaro and Cote d’Ivoire’s Jean Elvis Yapo picked Silver and Bronze respectively in the category.
Thereafter, Olalekan Rufai lifted 180kg in the 59kg category to bag Gold. His compatriots Ibrahim Dauda and Kazeem Abass settled for Silver and Bronze medals.
Surprisingly, Mufutau Rasaq beat Commonwealth champion Paul Kehinde to the Gold medal in the men’s 65kg category. Rasaq lifted 185kg on his third attempt to emerge victorious.
Having previously reiterated his desire to “set an unbreakable record” in the sport, Kehinde made an attempt at lifting 200kg on his third attempt but failed, and that – despite having a lift of 185kg – made him settle for Silver.
In the men’s 72kg category, Nnamdi Innocent bagged Gold while Akeem Yusuf and Ghana’s Emmanuel Iku picked Silver and Bronze medals respectively.
In the women’s categories, Lucy Ejike lifted 130kg to emerge champion for the 61kg; Olaitan Ibrahim and Paulina Okpala clinched Gold in the 67kg and 73kg respectively.
Kazeem Abass (men’s 59kg), Mufutau Kazeem (men’s 65kg), Temitope Oladele (women’s 61kg), Victoria Okenwa (women’s 67kg) and Olorunwa Oluwasola (women’s 73kg) each bagged Gold for Nigeria in the Juniors categories.
Altogether, Team Nigeria garnered 23 medals on Day 2 (12 Gold, 7 Silver and 4 Bronze).