Paul Kehinde suffers shock defeat

Debutant Mufutau Rasaq upsets all odds at season-opener

three male powerlifters, with Mufutau Rasaq in the middles, link arms on the podium Mufutau Rasaq (C) sprang a surprise by beating Paul Kehinde (L) to the men's up to 65kg title in Lagos © • panafricansports

Reigning Paralympic and world champion Paul Kehinde suffered a stunning defeat while hosts Nigeria swept all events at the season-opening International Para Powerlifting Competition in Lagos.

In the men’s up to 65kg, Kehinde lifted 185kg, far off his 221kg world record lift from the 2018 Fazza World Cup. Nigerian 19-year-old Mufutau Rasaq had an international debut to remember as he also cleared the bar at 185kg to win gold due to a lower body weight.

Other favourites triumph

Nigeria’s London 2012 Paralympic champion Yakubu Adesokan ended first in the up to 49kg with a 180kg lift, only 3.5kg shy of Vietnamese Le Van Cong’s world record in the category.

There was a Nigerian 1-2-3 in the up to 59kg, with Olalekan Rufai finishing ahead of Ibrahim Dauda and Kazeem Abass.

As expected, Rio 2016 champion Roland Ezuruike had no major issues in taking the men’s up to 54kg title thanks to a 190kg lift, far ahead of Nigeria’s silver medallist Abimbola Osaro (140kg).

The other male winners were Nnamdi Innocent (up to 72kg), Wale Kadiri (up to 80kg), Mathias Monday (up to 88kg), Abdulazeez Ibrahim (up to 97kg), Uhunoma Enwiobaiwi (up to 107kg) and Obioma Aligekwe (over 107kg).

Lucy Ejike delivers

The Paralympic legend cleared the bar at 130kg to comfortably win the women’s up to 61kg.

Another top powerlifter who secured gold was London 2012 champion Esther Oyema, who topped the podium in the women’s up to 55kg with a 125kg lift.

Other female Paralympic champions who claimed their first title of the year were Loveline Obiji (over 86kg) and Bose Omolayo (up to 79kg).

The rest of the women’s events winners were Esther Nworgu (up to 41kg), Loveth Abokin (up to 45kg), Oluwatoyosi Osewa (up to 50kg), Olaitan Ibrahim (up to 67kg), Paulina Okpala (up to 73kg) and Folashade Oluwafeniayo (up to 86kg).

Full results are available on World Para Powerlifting’s website.