Wangeci bags bronze at Tokyo weightlifting qualifiers in Nairobi
Edwin Otieno @obel_barry
Caroline Wangeci won bronze for Kenya in the women 55kg category at the Tokyo Olympics Weightlifting Qualifiers that started in Nairobi today.
Wangeci comfortably lifted 40kg in the Snatch and 60kg in the Clean and Jerk.
The category was won by Adenike Olarinoye of Nigeria who had 90 and 113 for 203 total.
Zohra Laghouati of Libya came second on total 155 points (75, 80).
“I’m surprised with the bronze medal. I didn’t prepare well because of Covid-19, it was also my first ever competition,” Wangeci told People Sport.
Triple Africa champion, Winny Langat will be in action on Friday in the women 59 kg.
Apart from Kenya, the event has attracted top participants from other 13 countries namely Madagascar, Uganda, South Africa, Lesotho,Botswana,Nigeria, Ghana,Cameroon, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya.
“Mauritius were forced to withdraw from the competition because they are currently on total lockdown due to the Covid -19 pandemic,” Kenya Amateur Weightlifting Association (Kawa) president Pius Ochieng said.
Ochieng, who represented the country in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics in Los Angeles and Seoul, said Kenya will strive to bag at least two slots at the Nairobi event. “I have faith that two of the nine athletes we have entered for the competition will qualify.”
He explained the championship is a Gold event meaning athletes are awarded up to ten points in their categories.
All the teams were subjected to a second Covid-19 test on Monday in line with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Sports protocol.
The event was preceded by a congress and continental elections where Ochieng and Kawa Secretary General John Ogola bagged slots into the Weightlifting Federation Africa (WFA).
Ochieng is grateful that the Government has come on board to fully support Kawa toward hosting the event despite the short notice given by the WFA.