HomeSportsFour Nigerian weightlifters seal Birmingham 2022 tickets

Four Nigerian weightlifters seal Birmingham 2022 tickets

Four Nigerian female weightlifters have gained automatic qualification to feature at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The lifters achieved the feat following their impressive performance at the recently concluded 2021 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in conjunction with the Commonwealth Championships Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The four lifters include Stella Kingsley, Adijat Olarinoye, Rafiatu Lawal, and Joy Eze.

Olarinoye finished second at 55kg and would have been world champion had she made her final attempt, while Joy Eze set two youth world records – a first for Nigeria – when she finished third in the 71kg clean and jerk from the B Group.

Meanwhile, details of five additional competitions for weightlifters hoping to qualify for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham have been finalized.

Four of them finish on the same day, February 27.

The five – one in each continental federation – have been added to the schedule because of difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic and are open to any Commonwealth Games hopefuls regardless of where they live or which nation or territory they represent.

“During this pandemic period, we are trying to help as many countries and lifters as possible,” said Paul Coffa, general secretary of the Commonwealth Weightlifting Federation.

“Some lifters are training outside of their own regions, so it is only fair during this time to give them every opportunity.”

The competition in Derby in England is in the last week of January, and three are on February 26 and 27 in Auckland in New Zealand, Canadian city Montreal and Singapore.

The other one runs from February 20 to 27 in Mauritius.

The original end date of the ranking period was February 14, but it has been extended because of the pandemic.

The top eight in the rankings join the outright winners of the Commonwealth Championships, England’s host nation selections, and bipartite invitations in fields of 11 and 12 for the 16 weight categories.

The total athlete quota of 180 places is exactly 50 per cent more than the number allocated to weightlifting for Paris 2024 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Maximum team size is 16, one each for the eight men’s and women’s medal events.

Many athletes were unable to compete in the Commonwealth Championships, which were moved from Nauru to Singapore because of the pandemic and eventually took place in a non-Commonwealth nation for the first time, running concurrently with the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships this month in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

“The CWF is indebted to the IWF executive and staff,” said Coffa. Nigeria had two women on the podium in the World Championships.

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