The Nigeria Powerlifting Federation has assured Nigerians that it would maintain its excellent performance at the Paralympics when the Rio Games begin on Sept. 7.
The federation’s Technical Director, Samuel Ekeoma, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the country’s power-lifters have adequately prepared to make the country proud at the Games.
“We are ready for the Paralympics in terms of technical preparation, logistics is not our concern.
“They said the team will likely depart for Rio on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Our concern is for the country to take us to Brazil and there, we can make do with whatever we see to defend our fatherland. We have been in camp since May 29.
“We are going with 14 power-lifters; seven males and seven females and we don’t want to go there and spend the tax payers’ money.
“Nigeria has the best powerlifters in the world and our interest now is to retain that top spot no matter the number of medals it will take.
“We won a total of 12 medals comprising six gold, five silver and one bronze at the London 2012 Paralympics and we hope to surpass that,” Ekeoma said.
He noted that six new power-lifters out of the 14 that would represent the country were of the new generation since the old lifters were ageing.
Ekeoma said, “Some that participated in the London Olympics are no more there and we faced a little challenge trying to get their replacement but we have surmounted that.
“We tested them at the All Africa Games and their performances were very impressive”.
He pleaded with the National Olympics Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and other well-meaning Nigerians to give the team the support it needed to succeed.