Lifters were at their best as the rejuvenated Lagos State Weightlifting Association held a one day Closed Championship at the Row Park Sports Centre.
Although no new records were set, top officials of the national body, referees and other technical officials including Olympian, Sefi Onabuya who oversaw the event were full of praises, first at the standards declared very high going by the lifts registered and the fact that so many new lifters competed.
More than that, about 30 male and female lifters representing three clubs, K-Square, Royal Crown and Best Sellers who flexed muscles themselves in the day- long event, praised the sponsor, Kunle Komolafe, who is chairman of the State Association for providing them the opportunity to compete and earned mouth-watering cash prizes in addition.
This declaration came in the face of the dearth of national competitions in the past four to five years as dejected officials and athletes recalled with nostalgia that the National Sorts Festival held every two years remained the sole platform for competition in the country over this period.
Joy Chima of K-Square club, who won the women's 58kg class with a total lift of 190kg said though she won three gold at the 18th National Sports Festival last year in Lagos for the host state, she was glad to compete with an impressive result better than her Festival outing.
"I am now looking forward to having a national team call-up so I can represent the country," she stated. On his part, the sponsor, Komolafe said he was overwhelmed by the turnout, the enthusiasm of the lifters and standards exhibited, pledging that, "the State Association will put in more effort to organise competitions in the state now that we have seen the high level of interest shown by athletes and their trainers."
Some of the results show that Gladys Chukwuemeka won the female 53kg class with a total lift of 143kg, followed by Olorunsoye Adijat with 138 kg while Blessing Njoku was third with 65kg lift. In the male category, Taju Giwa won the 62kg class with a lift of 220 kg over the efforts of Ojo Adekanye and Azeez Sadiq, Daniel Nnaji won in the 69kg class with 210 kg in a close race with Olalowo Kukoyi who lifted 197kg while Jamiu Abdulraman placed third with a lift of 195kg.
Eweje Danmola won the 56kg class with a lift of 162kg, Adefemi Raphael subdued Richard Abang and Osho Makanjuola to take the top prize in the 85kg class while Sadiq Jamiu, who lifted 280 kg in the big men's class topped Jonathan Ezewele and Isaac Maduabuchi to cart away the first prize.