Nigerian powerlifters dominate Manchester World Cup

Three world records set during the four-day competition 29 Mar 2021
Nigeria team holding the World Cup trophy
Team Nigeria received a trophy after ending as the most decorated nation in Manchester
ⒸEd Sykes/
By Filip Ožbolt | For World Para Powerlifting

Nigeria confirmed their dominance on the Para powerlifting international scene at the Manchester 2021 World Cup, finishing top of the medals with 10 golds and three silvers to take the team title.

The last two days of competition (27-28 March) saw Nigerian powerlifters claiming a further four gold medals and setting two world records.

Paralympic and world champion Bose Omolayo broke her own world in the women's up to 79kg after benching 142.5kg, 0.5kg more than her 2019 World Championships lift.

The second Nigerian standout was Folashade Oluwafemiayo, who achieved a world record-breaking 150.5kg lift to claim victory in the women's up to 86kg; Ukrainian Mariana Shevchuk had previously broken the first world record of the competition.

Folashade Oluwafemiayo lifting the bar
Folashade Oluwafemiayo had a performance to remember Ⓒ Ed Sykes/

Oluwafemiayo finished ahead of local hero Louise Sugden, who set a new national record of 128kg.

“I love breaking British records. It puts me in a good position for Tokyo 2020 and it is the main reason why I decided to lift 128kg,” Oluwafemiayo said.

It was Sugden’s first competition in over a year, when she also competed in Manchester, Great Britain, in February 2020.

“It has been difficult at times. I was fortunate to set up something in my garage to be able to train all the time. In the last couple of months, I have also been able to train properly because I got the elite athlete exemption. Without that, I don’t think that I would have been able to lift even half of the amount that I lifted in Manchester.”

Paulina Okpala, who beat France's favourite and Paralympic champion in the up to 73kg, and Loveline Obiji (over 86kg) added two more golds to Nigeria's tally.

Men’s events

Uzbek and Georgian athletes owned the stage.

Uzbekistan’s Farhod Umirzakov won the up to 88kg, while his countryman Nuriddin Davlatov took gold in the up to 107kg. 

Georgia's Ahmad Razm Azar topped the up to 80kg podium by defeating Great Britain's European champion Micky Yule, while Azar's teammate Iago Gorgodze won the over 107kg.

The remaining gold went to Moldova’s Stefan Rosca in the up to 97kg.

All results from Manchester can be found on the World Para Powerlifting website. 

The next stop in the World Cup season will be held in Pattaya, Thailand from 6-9 May.