Commissioner for youth and sports development in Bayelsa State, and former Commonwealth Gold Medalist, Honourable Daniel Igali has lauded the leadership ingenuity of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, NWF President, Dr Abdul Aladi Ibrahim in turning around the fortunes of the sport in the country.
Chief Igali who disclosed this in a chat with the Media in Asaba at the ongoing National Sports Festival, NSF, called on the federal government to support the sport to grow in the country.
“Weightlifting should be a very important sport for Nigeria. We should be deliberate in ensuring that we improve the fortunes of weightlifting because virtually every multi-sports games, weightlifting has shown their capabilities, won medals in large quantities for Nigeria and I think it is time Nigeria shows same amount of respect and regard for the sport.
“The current board led by my good friend, Dr Ibrahim Abdul is doing a great job. He has turned around the fortunes of weightlifting in the country,” he said.
On the expectations of Team Bayelsa at the festival, Honourable Igali who is also the President, Nigeria Wrestling Federation, said the state’s target is for the athletes to perform at their best.
The former wrestler advised athletes in power sports to eschew doping and use of substances to enhance their performance.
“For us, it is for the athletes to perform to the best of their abilities. We have trained and prepared. As long as they give all the best efforts here, by the time they come out, we will be very proud of them.
“There is always this tendency for people to do shortcut. Oftentimes they even put their lives at risk in attempting to use banned substances for short-term promise. Our advice to athletes is to stay clean, train hard, follow the rules of the game and avoid doping.”
Cara Elechi of Bayelsa State won gold in 55kg men snatch after lifting 95kilos on Monday.
/ Amaechi Agbo