Nigerian Sole Weightlifter, Maryam Usman Promises To Win A Gold Medal At 2016 Rio Olympics
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August 2, 2016 ( Post 1 )
Four years ago, Nigeria featured in the weightlifting event of the London 2012 Olympic Games with two weightlifters and returned no laurel.
With two days to the start of the 2016 edition of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nigeria's only representative in weightlifting, Maryam Usman, 26, is upbeat that this time, she will win a medal.
Nigeria will be represented by only Usman in Rio because she is the only weightlifter that amassed the necessary points to qualify for the Games.
The development has easily shown the country's shoddy preparations for international events.
It exposed the situation where the nation failed to participate in the many qualifiers where the athletes could have secured the vital points to berth at the Olympics.
But apparently undaunted, Usman says that the poor preparation for the Rio Olympics is now "a challenge that will spur me to clinch a medal for the nation''.
She told NAN on Tuesday that she has been training on her own and didn't rely on programmes conducted at the national camp.
The lifter, who will be making her third Olympic appearance, said she had the ability and confidence to register her name on the Games' medals log.
"The preparation is nothing to talk about; but I am not discouraged, rather I'm taking it up as a challenge to increase the tempo of my training outside the national camp.
"We have been in camp for the past two months training seriously, this will enable me to win a medal this time around and I know that almighty God will support my effort.
"I was in Beijing and London Olympics in 2008 and 2012 respectively, but couldn't win any medal.
"However, this is another opportunity for me and I must make the difference this time.
"Thank God for exposure at previous Olympics, continental championships and series of trials that has helped me to garner the basic points that earned me this Olympic ticket,'' she said.
George Aluo, the Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), said Usman, qualified for the Games after her brilliant performances at the trials in Yaoundé, Cameroun in May.
"Usman is the only one for weightlifting event in Rio; she did excellently well at the qualifiers which saw her through and she was able to secure the Olympic ticket,'' he said.
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