A lack of funding by the local federation may have scuppered Nigeria’s chance of sending a weightlifting team to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
The Nigerian contingent, featuring four women weightlifters in different weight classes, failed to show up at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, currently taking place in Australia.
The affected athletes are Chineye Fidelis (58kg), Oluwatoyin Adesanmi (63kg), Bilikis Otunla (75kg) and Maryam Usman (+90kg).
While visa arrangements were in place ahead of the athletes’ departure, the cash-strapped Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF) failed to secure the required funding to send the group to Australia.
The 2017 Championships is a qualifying event for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Nigeria can only hope now for a wildcard slot which is allocated by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).
Nigeria have failed to compete in any official competitions since 2016, having also skipped the African Weightlifting Championships in Mauritius in July and have also gradually slid down the IWF rankings as a result.
The Secretary-General of the NWF, Umar Lambu, said their non-participation was unavoidable as the funds expected to be used for the trip, unfortunately, didn’t come in when they were expected to and they were forced to shelve their travel plans.
The oil-rich African nation have traditionally performed well in weightlifting and harvested two gold, four silver and a bronze medal at the last edition of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2014.
The country’s weightlifters also brought home eight medals from the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 (three gold, two silver and three bronze medals).
- African News Agency