Africa Youth Champion, Islamiyat Yusuf told www.aclpsorts.com that a lot of individuals discouraged her when she picked weightlifting as her choice of sport.
The 2017 National Youth Champion said she turned deaf ears at her critics because she was determined and focused to excel in weightlifting.
She appreciated her coach, Adeyemi Rufus for inspiring her despite all odds.
Yusuf who hails from Olorunda Local Government Area in Osun state said she started weightlifting in 2014 and won three gold medals in her first international outing.
She said, “It is a must for you to have challenges when you embark on a sporting journey. For me, a lot of people discouraged me during my earlier stage but with determination and focus, I turned deaf ears on them.
“I started weightlifting in 2014 and my first national outing was at the 2017 National Youth Games in Ilorin where I won three gold medals. I attended my first international championships in 2017 at the African Youth Weightlifting championships in Uganda winning three gold medals again”.
“I can tell you for free that I am proud of representing my country at four different international tournaments boasting of medals with the support of my coach Adeyemi Rufus and looking forward to representing the nation in any competition this year”, she said.
“I was fortunate to be at the 2018 African youth and junior weightlifting championship and won 1 gold and 2 silver while at the 2018 African Youth Games in Algeria, I won 2 gold and 1 silver. I did not win a medal at the Olympic Youth Games which was painful for me”.
Yusuf told www.aclsports.com that she will honour any invitation by the country to participate at championships this year.
She said, “I love being a sports girl, my coach inspired me to weightlifting. My main target in 2019 is to win gold medal in any international competition, and if possibly to be in 2020 Tokyo Olympic. With the support of government and individuals, and I will also put more effort for me to become someone better than today in the future. All I want is better facilities and equipments to improve my training”.