By George Aluo
Nigeria’s weightlifting guru, Lawrence Iquaibom is not happy over the absence of the nation’s lifters at the on going Tokyo 2020 Olympics and he is not hiding it. Iquaibom who is at the games as one of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) technical officials told Catholic Herald Sports that he would have loved to see Nigerian lifters be in Tokyo to compete, insisting that Nigeria has lifters who can do the country proud at the biggest stage. The All Africa Games and Commonwealth games gold medalist noted that weightlifting is one sport where Nigeria has got the potential to rule the world. It is recalled that Nigeria had won two Olympics medals in weightlifting, two silver won in Beijing 2008 and Sydney 2000. While Miriam Usman won at the Beijing games, Ruth Ogbeifo performed the same feat way back in Sydney. Looking ahead, Iquaibom who rose to become Akwa Ibom state Director of Sports said he would work hard to see Nigeria bounce back in the sport. He stated that this informs why he is gunning to be the new president of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF). “I m pained our lifters are not here in Tokyo competing with other weightlifters from different parts of the world. So many factors saw us not qualifying…however, we have to put that setback behind us and ensure we start planning for the Paris games in 2024. My desire is to turn things around for weightlifting in Nigeria and this is why I am going to run for the Presidency of NWF. We have to start planning early and ensure our lifters are in Paris 2024,” Iquaibom said.
Tokyo 2020: Dollar rain for medal winners, Oborududu, Brume
Silver Medalist Blessing Oborududu and bronze medalist Ese Brume have been rewarded with their promised cash of $10,000 and $7500, respectively in a ceremony held at Grand Prince Hotel, Tokyo Japan on Tuesday. Oborududu and Brume were presented their cash by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare. Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister said “There’s no point delaying the reinforcement of these athletes who have made the country proud, that is the reason they were rewarded immediately for their record breaking performance” Chioma Ajunwa was the first person who won gold medal for Nigeria in the Long at Atlanta 1996, Brume thus follows suit with a bronze, while Oborududu is the first Nigerian Wrestler to win an Olympics medal. In her reaction, Oborududu said “I am just super excited and I want to say thank you to all my supporters and the Federal Government of Nigeria for the encouragement”