Many congratulations have begun to pour in for Nigeria and the pacesetters state as Oyo athlete, Rofiat Afolashade Lawal wins the second gold medal for Team Nigeria at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Folashade Lawal, who is an Oyo State weightlifter, on Sunday afternoon won a gold medal in 59kg women category after lifting 206kg comprising 116kg clean and jerk and 90kg snatch.
Lawal also sets a new Commonwealth Games record in the class.
It has been a medal harvest season for Team Nigeria in Birmingham as two Nigeria weightlifters, Lawal Rafiatu Folashade and Edidiong Joseph Umoafia have won more medals in weightlifting.
The 26-year-old followed the footprint of her compatriot, Olarinoye Adenike Adijat who had on Saturday night won Nigeria’s first gold medal in weightlifting event.
Earlier on Sunday morning, Edidiong Joseph Umoafia narrowly lost the gold medal but settled for bronze. He lifted a total of 290kg in the 67kg men’s category comprising 130kg snatch and 160kg clean and jerk to be placed 3rd.
Reacting to the medals haul so far, Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, NWF President, Dr Ibrahim Abdul attributed the success story so far to God’s blessings, as well as early preparations.
“First of all, I cannot control my joy at this point. Yesterday I said that Nigerians should expect more medals from weightlifting. I said that because I know the quality of lifters we brought to Birmingham. Committed, hard working children who are ready to continue to do the country proud.
“Our success stories so far are evidences of God’s blessings upon us and good preparations. We camped these athletes in Lokoja for complete three months ahead of the games and today, God is rewarding our efforts with medals.
“We have 9 athletes in weightlifting, five have competed and we have three medals – two gold (with new Commonwealth Games records set) and a bronze medals…” he stated.
Similarly, the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) Oyo State chapter, has also congratulated Folasade on her record-setting victory.
In its congratulatory message signed by its State Chairman, Niyi Alebiosu and Secretary, Adewale Tijani, Oyo SWAN applauded the exploits of the 26-year-old weightlifter.
The sports body also congratulated the sports loving State Helmsman, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde and the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Sunday Dare for the splendid performance being recorded by athletes from Oyo State, saying this development is the end result of their investments into sports and youth programmes in the state.
The association noted that Rofiat Lawal’s feats in Birmingham were not a surprise to those following her exploits in various competitions she had participated.
“Rofiat Lawal’s excellent performance at the ongoing Commonwealth Games is not unexpected, given the fact that she has always been exceptional in all the national and international competitions in which she participated”, the association noted.
Oyo SWAN recalled that the athlete had in 2019, won three gold medals in All African Games in Morocco and similarly won another three gold medals at the National Sports Festival held in Edo State in 2020.
SWAN has therefore urged Rofiat Lawal not to relent in exhibiting her sporting prowess but to continue to blaze the trail and be a good role model for other sports men and women in Nigeria.