The Nigeria Para-Powerlifting Federation yesterday organised trials for 125 senior athletes ahead of the 2020 Para-Powerlifting World Cup slated to take place in FCT, Abuja from February 5 to 7.
The event, which was held at the Para Powerlifting Gymnasium of National Stadium, Lagos, saw the best Para Powerlifters in Nigeria slugging it out to be among the selected 60 athletes for the world event.
According to the NPPF, the Para-Powerlifting World Cup is also an African qualifier for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The President of Nigeria Para Powerlifting Federation (NPPF), Queen Uboh-Idris said the trial became necessary to meet up with the registration deadline and also ensure that Nigeria presented the best athletes for the World Cup.
“We have 125 athletes here at the trials and we have a window to register and showcase only 60. That means a trial is very important.
“I don’t believe in picking athletes because you might pick the wrong athletes. Let things be done properly because before going for any competition, a trial is important.
“As host country, Monday (yesterday) is our last day to register our athletes before the portal is closed. If we didn’t pick and upload the names of our athletes before midnight today, that means we will be hosting the World Cup and the Nigerian athletes will not participate. I have to go the extra length to make this possible. Para Powerlifting will not die in my time,” she said.
The president added: “It would have been an embarrassment if we did not participate and the powerlifting body would have sanctioned us for that.
“We are doing a fire-brigade approach because this should have been done two months ago. This World Cup will also be used as Africa’s qualifier for the Olympics and Nigeria is expected to put up the best performance.”