Eight Nigerian Paralympic gold medallists will compete in Para powerlifting’s first international competition of the year in Lagos, Nigeria, between 28 and 30 January.
London 2012 champion Yakubu Adesokan is the top candidate in the men’s up to 49kg. The 39-year-old took gold at last year’s African Championships.
Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Lucy Ejike will be another to look out for in the women’s up to 61kg after she took the continental title in Algiers, Algeria, in 2018.
Eyes will be on Rio 2016 champions Roland Ezuruike (men’s up to 54kg), Paul Kehinde (men’s up to 65kg) and Bose Omolayo (women’s up to 79kg).
“No one will defeat me in front of my home crowd,” Ezuruike said in an interview with ACLSports.
“I am not only ready for the competition but motivated to set a record in my father’s land. We have been travelling round the world winning medals; this is the right time to replicate such feat.”
After a successful 2018 which saw her climbing onto the top of the podium at both the Commonwealth Games and African Championships, London 2012 gold medallist Esther Oyema (women’s up to 55kg) is confident of further success in Lagos.
The women’s over 86kg will arguably be the most exciting event of all with two Paralympic champions colliding. London 2012 gold medallist Loveline Obiji will face Rio 2016 champion and world record holder Josephine Orji.
Competition starts on Monday (28 January) with the women’s up to 41kg, up to 45kg, up to 50kg and up to 55kg, as well as the men’s up to 49kg.
Live streaming of the Lagos 2019 International Competition is available on the World Para Powerlifting’s website.