Nigeria’s head coach, Feyisetan Are has predicted that Nigeria’s total dominance of the para powerlifting is set to continue and world records will be broken at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games when the competition is underway on April 10.
“We have three world record-holders here (Paul Kehinde, Esther Oyema and Lucy Ejike) and they’re all in good shape,” said Are.
“Most of our athletes won gold at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, so we are waiting to see what they can do – because we know that they can do better. They are true professionals.”
Nigeria has won all eight Commonwealth Games gold medals contested in para powerlifting since the sport was introduced at Delhi 2010.
“I was once a powerlifter and my sister is also a powerlifter,” said Are.
“Our family, we’re all powerlifters. We brought para powerlifting to Nigeria way back in 1983-84. Today we’re coaches and we’re doing our best to make sure that Nigeria is always on top of powerlifting.”
The nation’s success in para powerlifting is due to the professional approach to the sport in Nigeria and the respect his countrymen have for the athletes.
“Our athletes travel and compete often, almost as much as any other Nigerian athletes,” said Are.
“We manage our training and make sure that we are doing the right things so that we don’t get injured.
“We don’t do programs that come from other sports or are meant for other types of athletes or bodybuilders. Para powerlifting is its own sport and we need our own specific programs.
“Everyone back home is expecting that the first Commonwealth Games medal for Nigeria is going to come from powerlifting.”