Nigeria’s queen of para-powerlifting Lucy Ejike is delighted by the Federal Government’s decision to lift its ban on non-contact outdoor sports in the country, even though the current world champion is skeptical of returning to full training ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The Federal Government had in March placed a restriction on sporting activities, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a chat with Sportinglife.ng, the five-time Paralympic medalist, who has won three gold and two silver since her debut at Sydney 2000 at the age of 22, urged other athletes to follow the authority’s guidelines while going about their training.
“The lock-down has not been that okay for us. But we have to bear it because our health is foremost important before any other thing. Sitting at home for about six months now is not easy for me.
“The news on return of sporting activities is a welcome development. But my fear is that as COVID-19 is still on, I don’t know how we are going to cope with training in a public gym. So I’m still contemplating on that because I don’t know how to go about it.
“The only thing is that we need to be very careful. Even if we are to go to gym, we need to follow all the precautionary measures given by the government so that we will not contact this coronavirus. Some people are taking public transport for their training venues. So we need to be careful in whatever we are doing.”
The 42-year-old who is among the 42 athletes across the world being sponsored by Citi Bank, has vowed to defend her title in Tokyo as it is her first time of getting such privilege since she started attending Paralympic Games in 2000.
“The Citi Bank are supporting me on my journey to Tokyo 2020 and they are making sure that I have everything I need in training to ensure I win the gold medal as usual. So I want to make them, the federation and the country proud, no matter the circumstances,” Ejike, who won gold at the ‘Abuja 2020’ World Para Powerlifting World Cup held in January told Sportinglife.ng.