The Ghana Weightlifting Federation (GWF) on Friday staged ’intense’ weightlifting trials at the Accra Sports Stadium which saw many national records falling.
A total of 12 athletes took park in the one-day event that featured budding, talented junior and senior lifters hungry for honours in snatch, clean and jerk for both male and female in various weight categories.
In the male junior category, Paul Agama – with a total 163kg, set a new national record in clean and jerk in 93kg with the previous being 92kg.
The female junior class saw enterprising Sandra Owusu Mensimah with a previous lift of 91 in clean and jerk move to 92 and a total haul of 164kg – also a new record.
New trialist Etisan Abubakar, a super heavyweight athlete in the 87kg, also earned the applause of National Chief Coach Michael Abotsie with her performance.
In the male youth category, Eric Yaw Opare in the 55kg class, made a new record lift of 112kg; Eric Malibe in same category made away with a new record of 152kg with 66 snatch – and was described as a potential silver medalist in the forthcoming Accra 2023 African Games.
Eight-year-old Blessing Allotey showed a lot of promise and was applauded all present.
Emmanuel Allotey in 67kg, had a clean and jerk record of 130kg with 120kg as previous and total of 227kg. He also dazzled pass his previous snatch of 92kg to 97kg.
Abdul Salim, campaigning in the 152kg class, sparkled in the clean and jerk with a record of 96kg, and also 122kg as the new record snatch with a new total of 274kg.
In the female youth category, new lifter Leticia Zormelo in 49kg, had an impressive run with new record of 70kg in clean and jerk.
A potential African Games medalist, Clement Korto in the 81kg class, had an impressive total haul of 274kg and a new record of 81kg in snatch, clean and jerk.
Other athletes – Slyvanus Kugblenu and Chidi Abotsi, who took part in the trials, made impressive marks.
The trials formed part of preparations towards a competition in Cairo, Egypt, as well an Olympic qualifier in Colombia Championship which will serve as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Speaking to the Times Sports, Coach Abotsie said the trials would help him recruit new athletes for the African Games and also prepare them for the onerous challenges ahead.
“We will recruit new athletes and blend them with the foreign-based ones for the Accra Games in Ghana. Also, I want to build a medal-winning team for the Columbia Championship in December and have a formidable team for the Olympics in 2024,” he said.
He disclosed that Winifred Ntumi, who represented Ghana in the Birmingham Games, was under the weather and would join the team when she recovers, whilst talented new-comer, Fofana Muslihudeen, who has been with the team for barely two months, has just rejoined the team after recovering from an injury.
Coach Abotsie said the next trials would be in November to test the preparedness of the lifters.
BY LINUS SIAW NARTEY