Swashbuckling UK-based Ghanaian lifter, Forrester Christopher Osei, has clinched gold at the International Open Weightlifting Championships held in Mauritius.
That magnificent performance could see the veteran athlete, who campaigned in the Men 96kg on Sunday February 27, grab a ticket to the forthcoming Birmingham Commonwealth Games in July, as competitors await final rankings by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), this week.
Two female lifters – WinifredNtumi and Sandra Mensimah Owusu, who were expected to compete in the women 49kg and 55kg categories, failed to show up due to Covid-19 infractions.
The Mauritius event served as a final Commonwealth qualification for Africa, offering a grand opportunity for the continent and athletes to compete in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, following a revision of the participation criteria.
The weight categories competed forwere men: 55kg, 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 96kg, 109kg, and +109kg, and women: 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 71kg, 76kg, 87kg, and +87kg.
In spite of missing the Mauritius event, Winifred and Sandra could still be fluky to make the cut to the Birmingham Games, if the IWF final standings favour them.
Osei last clinched Gold medal for Ghana in 2016 at the International Weightlifting Championship in Penang, Malaysia. He was, however, not selected for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
In September 2020, he was nominated by the IWF to serve as a member of the then newly-constituted Athletes Commission.
BY JOHN VIGAH