Nigeria’s Omolayo was the star of the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships, after she broke the world record in the women’s 79kg event in a dramatic fashion in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Two other Nigerian Weight Lifters, Ben Nsini (women’s 41kg)and Precious Orji (women’s +86kg) also broke world records as Team Nigeria, coached by Are Feyisetan, finished the competition in second place with seven gold and four silver medals.
China topped the medals table with eight gold, seven silver and four bronze while Iran finished third with three gold and four silver medals.
Feyisetan praised his athletes for a job well done.
“The lifters were wonderful. Our performance is reflective of the athletes’ persistent hard work. They can only get better with the right funding,” Feyisetan said.
The 26-year-old Omolayo had to wait until the third round before lifting an amazing 137kg, an additional 8kg to the previous world record.
After the first attempt, eventual silver medallist Lili Xu of China led by 1kg after a 124kg lift but Omolayo failed to complete a 130kg lift in her second attempt.
As Xu (133kg) built pressure by completing her third good lift, Omolayo, who made her debut in 2014, pulled off the 137kg haul to leave Xu in second place. Chinese Taipei’s former world record holder and world champion Tzui-Hui Lin (120kg) grabbed the bronze.
Orji continued her impressive performance since winning the 2014 world title, by setting a new record of 153kg in the women’s +86kg.
The 36-year-old Orji triumphed over three rounds, beginning with a 145kg lift. On her second attempt, she added 1kg to her own 151kg world record, before adding another 1kg in the final round to set a new record.
Blessing Nwakanma (130kg) was victorious in the women’s 86kg, following two good lifts while the trio of Roland Ezeruike (54kg), Kehinde Paul (65kg) and Lucy Ejike Lucy also triumphed in their categories.
Yakubu Adesokan(men’s 49kg), Esther Onyema (women’s 55kg), Ndidi Nwosu and Nsini(41kg) won silver medals at the event, which began on July 26 and ended on Thursday.
The Championships featured more than 220 athletes from 32 countries in one of the biggest Asian Championships ever.