President of Nigerian Weightlifting Federation, Hon Chibudom Onwuche, has called on the federal government to release funds so as to commence early preparation in order to help athletes prepare on time for the Commonwealth Games. He revealed this while receiving two junior lifters who won 3 gold medals each at the recently concluded African Youth Games in Gabrone, Botswana. Chika Joy Amalaha and Emmanuel Apah won 3 gold medals each in 58 kg female and 56 kg male respectively at the games with Chika breaking an African record.
Describing weightlifting as the overall best sport for Team Nigeria, he said early preparation played a key role in their quests. “Nigeria presented athletes in athletics, badminton, boxing canoeing, cycling, football, golf, karate, table tennis and taekwondo but weightlifting was the best of all sports coming first by winning 6 gold medals. Our athletes Chika Amalaha and Emmanuel Apah which we have been grooming carefully well over the years did extremely well and made us proud.
We are very proud of them. We have tried to instill discipline in our federation and levelled the playing field, there is no nepotism, tribalism; we want the best and encourage people to emerge clearly on merit that is why weightlifting is achieving many feats because everybody has equal opportunity to excel and we have also imbibed in our coaches the spirit of excellence.
We insist that they do their work and very seriously and we allow the best among them to be their leader. We don’t impose coaches; which is why we are doing well and recommend this model for other coaches. Federations must allow coaches who are competent, serious minded and dedicated to do the job and represent the country for the country to do well.”