Nigeria’s Yakubu Adesokan has won a Para-powerlifting gold medal and in the process set a new world record with a lift of 182.5kg in the 49kg weight class on Tuesday at the ongoing 11th African Games in Brazzaville.
Adesokan lifted the 182.5 kg in his third attempt to win the gold medal. An Algerian settled for the silver medal in the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adesokan had set a World record at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London with a lift of 177 kg. A Vietnamese had erased that record with a lift of 181kg, before the latest world record by the Nigerian.
Adesokan had won silver medal at a recent Open Asia Championship held in Kazakhstan.
“I am excited, I can’t thank God enough for this, it is the result of hard work and focus,’’ he said after the lift.
“After the Asian championship at which I won silver medal, I gave myself a personal target of gold medal at the Africa Games, and with God, I have now been able to reach my target,” Adesokan said.
He said that his next target would be to win gold in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games next year.
Adesokan, then, commended the National Sports Commission (NSC) for the preparation ahead of the Games. “I must thank my coach, Feyisetan Are, for believing in me and training me toward achieving this feat, he has been like a father to all us.
“I want to call on the NSC to allow us start the preparations for the 2016 Paralympic Games early, because with good preparation, the sky will be the limit for us; we have all what it takes to be world champions,” Adenekan said.
Another Nigerian, Latifat Tijani in the 45kg lifted 98kg to also win a gold medal and set a new African record.
Ben Isini won silver in the 41kg 90, losing the gold medal to an Egyptian who lifted 92kg.
Feyisetan Are, a National Para-powerlifting Coach told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Brazzaville that the athletes were just keeping to their promise of good performances in the Games.
“I am happy at the result, we just took part in three events this morning and we won two gold and silver; this is a sign of good things to happen to us in the competition.
“We promised Nigerian good outing and the athletes are living up to that promise they made to the nation.
“We are aiming at winning at least 11 gold medals; it is just two now, more are still coming,” Are said.