Sydney 2000 Olympic silver medallist, Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin believes Nigeria weightlifters can qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games following their performance at the 2023 IWF World Championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Debutant Ruth Ayodele won two silver and one bronze medal in the women’s 64kg category.
The 1999 World bronze medallist who hailed the resilient spirit of Nigeria weightlifters World Championship advised the lifters to remain focused and avoid distractions.
Ogbeifo-Balofin told www.aclsport.com that Nigeria is blessed with talented weightlifters who can shock the world in the future.
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She said, “I came to the World Championship to boost the morale of the athletes and see what the competition is like, compared to the past. My assessment of the weightlifters was that they have done very well according to the level of preparation and support from the President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, Dr Ibrahim Abdul.
“I am optimistic with the current performance of the weightlifters; Nigeria will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games”.
The former African Champion urged the weightlifters to be consistent in training, remain focused and avoid distractions.
Ogbeifo-Balofin commended the President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, Dr Ibrahim Abdul for investing hugely in the young lifters dominating the sport.
The All African Games gold medallist said, “My advice to the weightlifters is to return home; remain consistent in their training, remain focused and avoid distractions.
“With what I have seen so far, Dr Ibrahim Abdul is one of the best President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation for obvious reasons. He camps the athletes for months before major International Championships, encourage them with incentives and provide enabling environment for the weightlifters to thrive. I am calling on the board members to support the President in achieving the goals of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation and put Nigeria on the map again”.