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02.03.2006 Sports News

Weightlifters vow to win medals despite difficulties


Accra, March 2, GNA - Ghana is set to win another laurel in weightlifting as she prepares to participate in the event at the impending Commonwealth Games scheduled for Melbourne, Australia next month.

After winning three medals in the discipline at the last All Africa Games held in Abuja, Nigeria, the weightlifters, who have been in camp for the past years have vowed to improve upon the last output despite the difficulties experienced in preparations towards the event. The lifters who had to struggle each day to make their stay in camp comfortable since they lacked some basic facilities that will aid them in their training programme.

In the face of the difficulties, they persevered in their training and seem to be well conditioned for the battle ahead. Led by Michael Abotsi, the South Africa-based weightlifter whose singular efforts at the All Africa Games fetched three medals for the nation, the team is leaving no stone unturned to amass more medals at the competition.

Abotsi, who will be competing in the 94-kilogram category joined his colleagues in camp a week ago, thus boosting the morale of his colleagues.

The Ghanaian is on record to have won two bronze medals and a silver medal.

The bronze medals were won in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk Categories and emerged as the over all silver medalist. Aside that, Abotsi has been a regular participant in major competitions in South Africa and had won series of medals which gives him an added advantage over his opponents.

This makes him a sure bet for medals at the Commonwealth Games. In a brief chat with the GNA Sports in Accra, the Ghanaian conceded the fact that much eyes are on him to repeat the dose in Australia and this has gingered him to step up his training to live up to expectation. Abosti's effort in increasing the medal haul of the nation at the Games will receive a major boost from two other local colleagues, Ladjiti Fetrie and Bernard Fetrie.

The duo have for the past three to four months subjected themselves to an intensive training programme at the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex, Kaneshie and are poised to win glory for the nation. Ladjiti will compete in the 85 kilograme division with Bernard slugging it out in the heavy weight division of 105+ kilograme. A visit to their session by the GNA Sports reveals that the duo will be able to enhance the performance of the nation on the medal table if their intensity of training is anything to go by. "If we don't win medals in Australia, then fate has not treated us fairly", these are the words of Ladjiti.

Going by the words of the trio, Ghana is thus assured of at least six medals in weightlifting from the enthusiastic lifters, since in the game of weightlifting each lifter is capable of picking three medals in a single category.

This will however not come on a silver platter because they will be facing stiff challenges from countries like Canada, England, Kenya, Uganda and Cameroon among other powerful nations in the sport.