• Kenyan lifters struggle at African Olympic qualifiers

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Apr 02, 2012-

Kenyan lifters dismal showing at the on going African Olympics Championships qualifiers carried on Monday dimming their chances of qualifying for the London Games at Nairobi’s Charter Hall.

Going into the final day of competition there was no single medal for the Kenyan team of 10, in the qualifiers largely dominated by Nigerian Weightlifters as well as some impressive performances by the North Africans-Libya and Algeria.

2008 Olympiad Mercy Obiero could only manage sixth in the women’s 63kg after returning a total of 156kg after she snatched 65kg and a clean and jerked 91kg which was way off Nigerian Agatha Okoli’s winning total of 215kg(95kg snatch and a lift of 120kg.

Nigerians Mariam Usman (75kg) and Margaret Uwah(58kg) finished top of their categories after totals of 281kg and 191kg respectively. Usman snatched 125kg and a massive lift of 156kg to win the Gold while Uwah managed 85kg(snatch) and 106kg(clean and jerk).

Nigerians were unrivalled in the men’s event too with Shola Fadodun winning total of 250kg earning him gold in the men’s 62kg.

Local Julius Mogire combined total of 185kg , a lift of 100kg and snatch of 85kg ranked him a distant sixth.

Kenyan’s James Ochieng and Nelson Ochieng struggled in the 69kg won by South African Greg Shushu after snatching 125g and 160k in the clean and jerk, totalling 285kg. James 218 total placed him 12th out of the 15 lifters after a total of 218kg,snatching 96kg and a lift of 122kg . Nelson retired from the competition.

Another local Arthur Oyim also bolted out of the event after the snatch event.

Commonwealth Games finalist teenager Duke Machaka managed an impressive total of 280kg in the 85kg competition won by Libya’s Ali Elkekli(346kg). Machaka, 19, snatched 120kg and a lift of 170kg for a fifth place finish and a possible qualification for the Olympics.

James Ndung’u could only manage a lift of 77kg and a snatch of 60kg which was no match for the his fellow competitors in the men’s 56kg that saw Habib Lariki of Algeria grab the top spot.Lariki had a total of 225kg after a snatch of 100kg and lift of 125kg.

The five-day championships that drew participants from 15 countries is the continent’s final chance of qualification for the London Games.

 

 

 Evelyn Watta

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