Team Nigeria have emerged champions of the 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup, which was held in Manchester from March 25th to 28th, 2021.
Team Nigeria won ten (10) Gold and three (3) Silver medals defeating 18 other countries to finish at the summit of the medal standings after the four-day competition.
Jonah Ben won the first gold medal of the competition and the first for Nigeria in the 41 kg class, while Tijani Latifat helped Nigeria claim another gold in the 45 kg class.
In the men’s 49 kg category as Yakubu Adesokan won gold with a 140 kg-lift.
Onyinyechi Mark won silver in the women’s 55 kg, losing to Ukraine’s Mariana Shevchuk.
Thomas Kure got the better of his compatriot, Ibrahim Dauda, in the men’s 59 kg to cart home the gold, with Dauda settling for silver. Veteran Lucy Ejike put up a dominating performance to take home gold in the 61kg class, while Olaitan Ibrahim also claimed gold in the women’s 67kg class won gold with a 122 kg-lift.
Nnamdi Innocent lost the men’s 72 kg class gold to Uzbekistan’s Iskandar Tursunbaev.
Day Three of the World Cup saw Nigeria pick up two more gold medals to take its tally in the competition to eight after Bose Omolayo beat Ukraine and Spain’s Nataliia Oliinyk and Maria Membrilla to win gold in the women’s 79 kg category.
In the 73 kg category, Paulina Okpala caused an upset by beating Paralympic champion Souhad Ghazouani of France to win the gold with a 120 kg-lift.
2012 Paralympic Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Loveline Obiji and 2012 Paralympic Silver medallist Folashade Oluwafemiayo were outstanding on the last day of the competition.
Obiji was unmatched in the women’s over 86 kg and claimed the Gold medal, with Marzena Zieba of Poland settling for 2nd place, while Polina Katsman of Israel finished 3rd.
While Oluwafemiayo not only claimed Gold in the women’s up to 86kg, she also improved her own Personal Best of 150 kg set at the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, to a 150.5 kg lift in her third attempt.
Nigeria, who missed the World Cup in Bogota, the Colombian capital earlier in the month, had a total of 13 lifters at the 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup: Adesokan Yakubu, Dauda Ibrahim, Kure Thomas, Innocent Nnamdi, Ben Jonah, Tijani Latifat, Mark Onyinyechi, Ejuke Lucy, Ibrahim Olaitan, Okpala Paulina, Omolayo Bose, Olufemiayo Folashade and Loveline Obji.
In 2nd place on the medals table of the 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup is Uzbekistan with three Gold and one Bronze medal, while Ukraine finished in 3rd place with two Gold, five Silver and two Bronze medals.