23rd July, 2022
By Babatunde Ogunrinde
Nigeria has emerged as the overall winner at the 11th Africa Armwrestling Championships which ended on Friday in Lagos.
The Nigerian teams won 27 gold medals, 27 silver and 22 bronze medals at the three-day championship which was held at the Indoor Sports Hall of National Stadium, Surulere.
Nigeria’s overwhelming performance will go down as their best so far in the competition as no fewer than 45 armwrestlers competed to achieve the results.
Coming in the second position was Egypt with 24 gold medals, using only six arm wrestlers to achieve their results.
Ghana claimed the third position clinching 18 gold medals, 22 silver and five bronze medals to the delight of the coach.
No fewer than 12 countries participated in the competition which kicked off on July 19 and drew curtains on July 22.
In an interview with NAN, the President of Africa Armwrestling Federation, Charles Asibey, said that the competition was a success.
He said that the event had lived up to expectations and was confident that the future was bright for the sport in Africa.
“Only five countries participated when Nigeria last hosted but now we have 12 countries, shows that the sport has grown tremendously.”
“This is a big development and we are so proud that the sport is now gradually lifting from the ground and gaining good acceptance.
“Armwrestling is a great sport with good techniques and it takes a lot of hard work and tactics to achieve set objectives.
“We are proud of what we have seen today, especially from countries who are also participating for the first time indeed it is a great moment in the history of the sport,” Asibey said.
He added that Ghana will host the 12th edition in 2023 where the competition would be used as qualifications for the All Africa Games which also holds in Ghana.
Similarly, Samuel Jackson, the Vice President, Africa Armwrestling Federation, who also doubles as President, Nigeria Armwrestling Federation, expressed delight over the achievements.
He said that the essence of hosting the competition was to create more awareness for the sport to be a scoring sport at the coming Nigeria Sports Festival.
He said that the sport had grown sporadically and it cannot be termed as a lesser sport again, urging corporate bodies to invest in the success story.
“We are going places with arm-wrestling and we can only grow, indeed hosting and winning is a plus that can not be ignored.
“We move on to the next level which is the coming National Sports Festival coming up in Delta, where we hope to showcase the sport as a demonstration sport.
“The overall target is for the Honourable Minister of Sport, Sunday Dare to recognize the sport so that we can participate at the next Africa Games in Ghana,” he said.
Becky Ademoh, the National Team coach, told NAN that the team had worked hard to achieve the results.
She said that the team was well motivated and no fewer than 15 young athletes were discovered to join the ageing ones.
“Indeed the result was as a result of their determination to succeed and a sign of good things to come in the future,” she said.
Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Madagascar, Senegal, Cote dI’Voire, Guinea Conakry, Somalia and Niger were among other countries that took part in the competition.