Chairman of the Technical Committee and Director of the technical department of the Weightlifting Federation of Nigeria, Captain Babatunde Adadimeji (rtd) has said that the Federation’s forthcoming Open Championship is expected to produce another world champion.
The retired Naval Captain who made this know to Sunday Vanguard Sports said that the tournament is a dress rehearsal for the African Junior and Youth Championship later in the year.
“It is an event we expect to discover new talents that would compete favourable with the best in the world. The All African Games is just around the corner, so we want to have fresh athletes for all the competitions lined up for the year. We intend to use the Open Championship coming up March 26th to select weightlifters for the African Junior and Youth Championship holding in Kampala, Uganda, after which we plan to go into camp on the approval of the National Sports Commission for the All African Games in Mozambique.
“My expectation from the weightlifters in the championship is high, given the fact that it is the first major tournament in the year. I hope they will give their best so that the country will be represented well at the All African Games. It was at the last Open Championship held before the Commonwealth Games in India, that we discovered Nwokolo, the girl that won gold in the competition, so expect more of Nwokolos to be discovered in the next championship,”
“Besides holding this championship, the only way it will be of help to us is when quality selection is made from both the National Sports Commission and the Weightlifting Board. We will also make sure that the camp is open early for the lifters while the manpower that are available are distributed evenly while assuring that they are kept out of drugs,”Adedimeji said.