Commonwealth Games: Lifter Olarinoye wins Nigeria’s first gold

Nigerian weightlifter Adijat Olarinoye on Saturday night won the country’s first gold medal at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, in the women’s 55kg event, setting a new Games record in the process, on her debut, Sunday PUNCH reports.

It’s also Nigeria’s first medal at the Games, which began on Thursday.

The 23-year-old clinched gold by lifting a combined total lift of 203kg – 92kg in Snatch and 111 in Clean & Jerk – to win the women’s 55kg weightlifting event and also set a new African record

India’s Bindyarani Sorokhaibam, who also set a new Games record for Clean & Jerk (202kg – 86kg in Snatch and 116kg in Clean & Jerk) won silver, while England’s Fraer Morrow claimed bronze after lifting a total of 198kg – 89kg in Snatch and 109kg in Clean and Jerk.

With the gold, Nigeria is placed ninth on the medals table, which has Australia in first place with 13 gold, eight silver and 11 bronze medals.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed outing for Team Nigeria at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Saturday on Day 2 of the event, The PUNCH reports.

Team Nigeria was in action in two events – boxing and table tennis – as the athletes recorded both wins and losses.

In the boxing event, Azeez Osoba, knocked out his opponent, Carl Hield, from the Bahamas in the round of 32 bout of their 71kg (light-middleweight) division.

It took the Lagos-born pugilist two minutes and 54 seconds to send Hield to the canvas at the NEC Hall 4.

Meanwhile, his countrywoman, Bolanle Shogbamu, lost 4-1 to England’s Jodie Wilkinson in the 70kg (light-middleweight) division.

Shogbamu lost the first two rounds 29-26, 28-27 before winning the third 28-27, but Wilkinson sealed her place in the quarter-final, scheduled for Wednesday, by winning the remaining two bouts 28-27, 28-27.

It was another mixed result in table tennis as the men’s team, led by world No.11 Quadri Aruna, cruised into the quarter-finals after a convincing 3-0 win over Cyprus in the Men’s Group 2.

First, duo Bode Abiodun and Olajide Omotayo hammered Iosif Elia and Christos Savva 3-0 in the doubles Team Event, while Aruna sent Marios Yiangou packing 3-2.

Omotayo, the African Games champion, then asserted his superiority over Savva with a 3-0 demolition to complete the victory over the Cypriots.

However, it wasn’t a good turnout for the women as they all crashed out of the Team Event.

Offiong Edem and Fatimo Bello defeated England duo Maria Tsaptsinos and Tin-Tin Ho 3-1 and 3-2 respectively in the Women’s Group 1, but it was not enough to see the ladies through, as they (Bello and Edem) lost 3-0 in the doubles, while Ajoke Ojomu lost her two singles games 3-0 to Ho and 3-2 to Charlotte Bardsley respectively.

The women’s team finished in third place in Group 1 with one point from three games.

On Day 3 of the Games, Team Nigeria will compete in four events.

Edidiong Umoafia will be in action in the men’s 67kg weightlifting event at NEC Hall 1, while Team Nigeria battle Malaysia in the quarter-finals of the men’s team table tennis event at NEC Hall 3.

Nigeria stands a chance of winning a medal in the over 71-75kg of the boxing event, with Adeyinka Benson set to face Ghana’s Abubakari Quartey in the round of 16.

Completing the action for the day, Rafiatu Lawal will be competing in the women’s 59kg weightlifting at NEC Hall 1.

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