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Weightlifting federation to boost athletes for Commonwealth Games qualifiers


Nigeria’s lone representative in weightlifting, Mariam Usman finishes 9th in her category at Rio Olympics.

Determined to take Nigerian weightlifting back to its glorious days, the President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), Yahaya Mohammed has said the body would give the athletes the morale boost they need to excel in the Commonwealth Games qualifiers slated for September in the Gold Coast, Australia.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games is also holding in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia from April 4 to 15.Mohammed said yesterday that the athletes had begun camping in various states of the country, adding that the trip to Australia next month would be the first major step taken by his board.

Mohammed’s election as the NWF President was upheld after the sports ministry over ruled earlier decision by the appeals committee to order a re-run election.
He disclosed that the Technical Director of the federation, Christopher Nwadei was working with various coaches to ensure Nigeria presents a formidable squad in the Commonwealth Games qualifiers, adding that the target was to secure as many slots as possible.

He also stated that his board would lay a solid foundation for the games by introducing weightlifting clubs in various states as a way of boasting its grassroots programme.

“We have resolved to embark on serious grassroots programmes to give Nigeria weightlifting solid foundation it deserves so as to be among top contenders at world level,” Mohammed said. “With such weightlifting clubs, our coaches will be able to discover more talents for their states and for the national teams.

We are also embarking on sponsorship drive to fund most of our programmes because the government can’t do it alone. We are going to operate with a very vibrant marketing committee that would attract sponsors to the game. My appeal to corporate bodies is for them to rally round us because with their support the country will excel in weightlifting. We have the talents that can do us proud if given the needed support,” he added.

Apart from the qualifiers for Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next month, the NWF is also planning for the World Weightlifting Championship billed for December in Los Angeles, USA.Weightlifting has been one of Team Nigeria’s medal hopes at continental championships like the All African Games and Commonwealth Games.

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