William Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent, Doha, Qatar. (Courtesy Black Panther Energy Drink and Fly Emirates)
Doha, Nov. 11, GNA - Africa is experiencing unpleasant moments at the on- going World Weightlifting Championship in Doha, Qatar as the continent is yet to grab a medal in the two day old championship. South African Portia Vries started the misery when she placed a disappointing 17th position in the 48 Kilogram event with a total lift of 144 kilograms.
Vries had recorded two bad lifts in the Snatch category and a single good lift in the Clean Jerk and Jerk category.
In the snatch category, the South African could only manage a good lift of 62 kilogram after failing her first attempt and made a good lift in her first attempt on Clean and Jerk but failed the subsequent attempts.
The 20-year-old pint size Wang Mingjuan of China won the event with a record 213 kilogram with Saelaw Pensiri and Wirathaworn Aree, both from Thailand picking the silver and bronze medals with 198 and 193 kilograms each.
Daniel Koum Koum of Cameroon could not turn the tables in favour of Africa when he also placed a distant 16th position with 227 kilograms in the Men's 56 kilogram category.
Though Koum Koum had two good lifts of 97 and 102 kilograms in the Snatch category, he failed to maintain his performance in the Clean and Jerk category as he only managed his first attempt of 125 kilogram. Wang Shin Yuan of Taipei picked the gold medal with 281 kilogram with Lee Jong-hoo grabbing the silver medal with 280 kilogram while Tuan Hoang Anh of Vietnam settled for the bronze medal with 156 kilograms. One of Africa's hopeful in the championship, Tunisia, failed to live up to earlier predictions of picking a medal when Fatnassi Soumaya picked the last slot in the 53 kilogram event on Thursday. She could not make a single good lift in the Snatch and struggled to make a good one in the Clean Jerk category but that was not enough for her to make any meaningful impact at the championship. 17 year-old Li Peng of China shrugged off a challenge from Kuntatean Jumpin of Thailand to emerge the over all winner in the 53 kilogram event.
She amassed a total of 224 kilograms, a kilo ahead of Jumpin who picked the silver medal with 223kilograms after making a good lift of the 131 kilogram barbel in her third and final attempt, while Yudergue Contrarasy collected the bronze medal with 211 kilogram. Two other Africans, Charles Andriatsiry of Madagasca and Ismail Katamba of Uganda also failed in their bids to make the continent proud as they occupied the bottom sides of the medal table after the 62 Kilogram event on Thursday.
Andriatsiry and Katamba placed 12th and 14th with a total kilograms of 240 and 210 respectively.
Mr Salim Musoke of Uganda in reaction on the performance of the African continent at the championship told the GNA Sports that Africa is yet to reach the stage where it can compete effectively with the advanced countries in the sport.
He said the continent lacks almost everything ranging from money to the human resources to develop the game.
According to Mr Musoke as a result of financial constraints, they had to arrive late for the championship hence his team were unable to acclimatise and put up finishing touches to their training programmes. The Ugandan said until the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) gives the African continent the needed attention to develop the game, the continent would continue to produce poor results at such events.