After five days of competing at the Commonwealth Games which is taking place in Gold Coast, Australia, Team Nigeria recorded four GOLD medals on Day 6, as four of its Powerlifters were responsible for the rush.
The quartet of Roland Ezuruike, Esther Oyema, Ndidi Nwosu and Abdulazeez Ibrahim were all in impeccable form as they stormed through to win GOLD for Nigeria in the men and women’s Lightweight and Heavyweight Powerlifting categories.
Ezuruike opened the floodgates for the country as he accumulated a total of 224.3 points after he successfully lifted 188kg and 194kg to win the Men’s Lightweight category. His compatriot Paul Kehinde secured the Silver medal with 219.9 points.
Esther Oyema followed suit, as she broke the World Record (WR) in the women’s lightweight category, thereby surpassing her previous mark of 126kg that she set four years ago in Glasgow to win GOLD once again. She lifted a total weight of 131kg, while amassing a total of 141.6 points. Her teammate, Lucy Ejike took home the Silver medal after garnering 134.1 points.
Another Power lifter who was dominant in her event was Ndidi Nwosu. Nwosu accumulated a total of 110.4 points after she had cleanly recorded lifts of 110kg and 120kg respectively to claim the GOLD medal.
Abdulazeez Ibrahim was the last Nigerian powerlifter to emerge at the Carrara Sports Arena, and he made sure he defended the title he won at the last Games, as he lifted a weight of 220kg to gain 199.1 points in the men’s Heavyweight class. The victory meant Nigeria won all four GOLD medals at stake in the Powerlifting event.
The Athletics event saw all three Nigerian athletes who competed in the 200m, progress into the semis of the competition.
Praise Idamadudu who was first to lace her spikes, sealed one of the automatic qualifying spots after running a Season’s Best (SB) of 23.55s to place 4th in her heat.
Like her teammate, Isoken Igbinosun also finished 4th in Heat 5, while the country’s representative in the male event, Emmanuel Arowolo, booked a spot in the semis after crossing the line in 3rd place, thereby securing a spot in the semis as one of the six fastest losers.
The duo of Riliwan Alowonle and Glory Nathaniel were in astonishing form as they both qualified for the men and women 400m Hurdles final. Alowonle who is representing Nigeria for the first time, stormed to a new Personal Best (PB) of 49.49s to place 4th, while Nathaniel, who is the Nigerian Champion in the event, also set a new PB of 55.01s to finish 3rd.
It was however a different tale for both Henry Okorie and Rita Ossai as the duo couldn’t make it past their respective Heats. Okorie raced to a time of 52.14s to finish 7th in the men’s heats, while Rita Ossai stumbled at the start of the race and therefore Did Not Finish (DNF).
Meanwhile, Yinka Ajayi qualified for her first individual global final, finishing 2nd in Heat 2 of the women’s 400m semis.
On the field, Queen Obisesan and Blessing Ibrahim settled for 5th place in the final of the women’s Hammer throw and Triple Jump final respectively. Obisesan recorded a best mark of 63.84m, while Ibrahim hopped, skipped and jumped a distance of 13.48m.
In Table Tennis, Bode Abiodun served off with a win in the opening match of the Men’s Singles event. The Silver medallist had an easy 4-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-5, and 11-3) win over Sierra Leone’s Rene Benjamin. Few hours later, Abiodun handed another defeat to Nooa Takooa of Kiribati in his second match of the day.
Also, in the women’s TT6-10 Singles Para-Table Tennis match, Faith Obazuaye defeated her Australian counterpart Andrea McDonnell 3-0. She won the three games by 11-9, 11-9 and 11-6.
D’Tigers lost their fourth consecutive game in the men’s Basketball qualifying final to Scotland by 66-61 points.