By Sab Osuji, in Brazzaville; photo by Ganiyu Yusuf:
Team Nigeria Powerlifters have declared they are in Congo Brazzaville to bag at least 10 of the gold medals available in the event.
Samuel Ekeoma, Technical Director of the Nigeria Powerlifting Federation, told Completesportsnigeria.com here at the on-going 11th All Africa Games that he was confident of hauling a greater number of the gold medals available in the Powerlifting event.
"We have no fewer than five world record holders in the powerlifting event here in Congo," Ekeoma told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"I'm talking about the likes of Loveline Obiji in the 88kg category, Ben Nsini in 41kg, Keinde Paul (65kg), Ezuruike Rowland (54kg) and Precious Orji (86+)."
He added: "We hope to win gold medals to appreciate the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut who has ensured a new hope for Powerlifting as a sport and Powerlifters,"he stressed.
Powerlifting Federation of Nigeria Coach, Prince Feyisetan Are, said he hopes to take home no fewer than 10 gold medals from the event.
"There are 20 gold medals available in powerlifting. My target is to win at least 10, but if things go our way, we can go home with 12," Are boasted during a chat with Completesportsnigeria.com.
He expressed delight at returning to the powerlifting event of the All Africa Games.
"The last time we participated in the All Africa Games was in 2003 which Nigeria hosted in Abuja.
"Having bèen given the opportunity to be part of the All Africa Games this time around, it is my desire to ensure we made Nigerians happy with a clean haul of the gold medals.
"We have prepared the lifters well, I came here with a complete team of 16 lifters, eight male and eight female lifters. So everything being equal, we'll achieve our target," Are said.
Powerlifting event is expected to commence of September 14 but General Secretary of the Nigeria Powerlifting Federation, Dapo Akinyele told Completesportsnigeria.com that classification of lifters will hold on September 12.
"Classification of lifters will hold on September 12, we have only one lifter that will go through classification, others have been classified long ago, so we hope to do our best here," Akinyele explained.