Nigeria fights for medals on several fronts today

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Nigeria’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi competes in the men’s shot put qualifying round at the on-going 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP.

• Dalung promises training grants for Athletes
Team Nigeria is assured of some medals today when the finals of some of the events hold at the on-going Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The finals are in the men’s shot-put, 100 metres race and para-athletics, where Goodness Duru will represent Nigeria in the Women’s F46 Javelin throw at the Carrara Stadium.

Seye Ogunlewe and Enoch Adegoke yesterday qualified for the Men’s 100m final, while Samson Nathaniel and Chidi Okezie will compete in the 400m men’s semifinal.

Elsewhere at the Oxemford Studios, Nigeria’s Millicent Agboegbulem will fight Elizabeth Andiego of Kenya in the quarterfinal of women’s 75kg boxing weight class, while Lukmon Lawal faces Uganda’s Regarn Singwa in the men’s 81kg round of 16.

The men’s table tennis team takes on England in the semifinal, while D’Tigers also face Australia in the preliminaries of the basketball event in Cairns.

One of the medals’ hopefuls, Paralympic athlete, Paul Kehinde has assured Nigerians that he would win a gold medal today.

Kehinde competes in the Powerlifting 65 kg but has to contend with body weights from 49 to 72 who are equally eyeing the gold in that category.

The secret to a podium performance is not only dependent on what you lift but mostly determined by the athletes body weight. The lower you weigh, the better chances you have in overtaking those you tie with in the weights lifted.

‘’I’m focused. There is no problem here in the Village. The only problem that I have is focusing on the Gold medal. And for me to strike gold, I have to lose weight not to be surprised by those weighing less than me”, Kehinde said after a strenuous exercise that spanned hours aimed at keeping him in shape for the D-day.
Kehinde may look harmless but his credentials and the number of World Records he has crashed speaks for him. “Every competition he attends, he breaks World Records,” national Paralympic Coach, Are Feyisetan said.

Kehinde smashed the world records at the Paralympics in Rio, Brazil, where other athletes could not attempt his amazing lift of 220kg.

In Mexico at the World Championships, Kehinde shattered his own World record with 221kg lift. He did not stop there. At the World Cup and Olympic qualifiers in Dubai in February, Kehinde went for 222kg lift. The world looked in amazement and he powered the lift to the sky and held it up until the mandatory counts to make history again.

Meanwhile, Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has assured Nigerian athletes currently in the Commonwealth Games village in Gold Coast that the Federal Government will not discriminate against anybody during payment of training grants.