By IME BASSEY
Despite the splendid performance of Nigerian lifters at the just concluded Commonwealth senior, junior and youth championship combined with the African seniors in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Weightlifting Federation of Nigerian, WFN still has less than average points to qualify for the London Olympics 2012.
Making this known to Saturday Vanguard Sports after the tournaments, President of the Federation; Chimdi Ejiogu said the inability of the Federation to fill in more athletes at the tournament caused her to lose points.
“The Championship is the first phase of the qualifiers which will be combined with that of the World Championship billed for Paris in November. This will serve as the major qualifier because individual efforts will hold sway helping in accumulating points for the country. In any case, if a country does not attend the World Championship, she can’t participate in the Olympics.
“At the expiration of the Championship in Johannesburg, we won a total of 20 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals respectively with just 12 athletes which has always been our major challenge. We had to fill in one lifter in three categories, that is, senior, junior and youth.
“This actually reduced our cumulative points despite topping the medals table with 20 gold medals because we were supposed to fill in one lifter in each of the fifteen categories, eight males and seven female but we had four each,” added Ejiogu.
On his thoughts of the lifters chances of qualifying, he said, “I am optimistic that we will qualify because it is the aggregate of the total performance in both the World Championship and that just concluded in South Africa. We are points away from qualifying” Ejiogu added.