A young female weightlifter from Osun state, Islamia Yusuf again had her name engraved in the book of records as she helped Nigeria win nine gold medals in the African Weightlifting Championship in Entebbe, Uganda.
Islamia, one of the few weightlifters selected by the Nigerian Weightlifting Federation after few day of rigorous training exercise in Abuja surprised the officials by winning 3 out of 9 gold medals Nigeria won at the continental championship in which over 15 countries participated .
With this feat, the 15 year-old secondary school student has become the African champion in this category,providing a springboard towards representing the continent at the world stage.
Reacting to the performance, head of Osun weightlifting, Coach Mr Kola Afinni and two other weightlifting coaches in the state, Messrs Rufus Adeyemi and Odogwu John appreciated the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for providing all logistics support in making her travelling possible.
“We are grateful for the God-sent governor, Ogbeni Aregbesola because of what he is doing for sports to thrive in the state. This success started when the governor promptly released the fund required for the National Youth Games in Ilorin where Osun contingent won many medals.
We also thank the Commissioner for Sports, Special Needs and Social Protection Comrade Biyi Odunlade for his quick response to the request of the sports council whenever the need arises.
We also call on Mr Governor to assist us in the provision of more training materials, particularly Barbell which will assist all upcoming weightlifters in the state to be at par with their colleagues across the world” ,said coach Adeyemi.
Speaking via a telephone call, the new African weightlifting gold medallist, Islamia Yusuf said she was grateful to God, the Governor and his coaches who believed in her ability to excel. She said it was amazing that she won 3 gold medals in her first time of representing the state of Osun in the National Youth Games and another 3 gold medals for Nigeria in Uganda also in her debut appearance representing the country.
“I never thought this would happen now in my life because this is my first year of any major tournament. I promise not to rest on my oars”, stated Islamia.
Officials of the State of Osun sports council are in high spirit to welcome Islamia back to the state just as the tournament ended with Nigeria’s contingent ranked among the best with 9 gold medals.
It would be recalled that Islamia won 3 gold medals in the just concluded National Youth Games which held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State last month.