Golden girl Maryam Usman is still savouring her Weightlifting performance which not only won her gold but sent tongues wagging in the ongoing Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow.
Maryam dumped her Samoan opponent Ele Opeloge after lifting 155 kg to become the Queen of the Weightlifting of the Commonwealth Games.
Wednesday, Maryam who is still being mobbed by athletes at the Games Village made a passionate appeal to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to host them just as he has done to footballers.
‘’There is only one thing I want. I want President Jonathan to host us just like he has done to footballers”, the 75 + kg lifter from Kaduna requested.
Reflecting on the rivalry between her and Opeloge, Maryam confessed that she was rattled when the Samoan opted for 161kg to upset her from winning the gold medal.
‘’I was shocked but prayed against it. She knew that the only way to win the gold was lift more than me. But there is no way she could have lifted 161kg. She is not a World Champion. Such lifts are meant for Champions.
And when she tried and could not lift it, I fell on my knees and the rest is history”, she said, as more athletes queued to take autographs and others to take pictures.
Maryam who is making her second appearance in the Commonwealth Games was a silver medalist at the XIX Games in New Delhi.
‘’I was tired of winning silver medals. I did not want to win another silver at the Commonwealth Games after winning one in India. I was focused and did not allow for distractions. There was more pressure on me from officials and athletes. But, I was calm and I thank God for answering my prayers”.
Maryam also won three gold medals at the African championships in South Africa. She also scooped bronze medal at the Paris championship in 2011 as well as yet another bronze in Russia 2012.
‘’I cherish this medal more than any other medal”, she said with her trademark smile that reveals her immaculate white teeth.
‘’That is why I want our President to extend his gesture of hosting footballers to us. That will spur us to do more even in the Olympics. It gives us a sense of belonging other than thinking that our country is only appreciative to footballers”, she said.