Fiji’s granny face battles Nigeria’s Ikpeoyi
In local parlance back home in Nigeria, theirs is a commons saying that ‘ there is no old woman in Ghana’ but this indeed is a truism as far as Fiji’s Akanisi Latu is concerned.
For Latu, old age won’t stop her from pursuing her dream of competing in the para table tennis event of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
At 64, Latu is the oldest athlete in the table tennis competition and her first-round hurdle in the women’s classes 3-5 will be against Nigeria’s Ifechuwude Ikpeoyi.
Yet granny Latu stated before the game that age has no boundary
“There’s no age limit,” she said. “We are all together as one and it’s an inclusive sport for everybody.” Apart from Latu, the other name to watch out for in para table tennis is seven-time Paralympian Lisa Daniela Di Toro of Australia, who is making her Commonwealth Games debut having switched to table tennis from wheelchair tennis in 2016.
Weightlifting is Nigeria’s beautiful bride
If there is any sport that has enjoyed the presence and massive support of Nigerian officials in Birmingham, it is weightlifting.
Minister of Sports and Youth Development Sunday Dare has also made it a duty to always take photos with medalists from the sport and this mostly splashed in the daily newsletter of the ministry.
So far so good, weightlifting has earned Nigeria its first medal and gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and on a daily basis, it has won medals of all colours at the games.
With nine lifters, the team can boast of two gold, one silver and two bronze medals from Birmingham.
But the question on the lips of watchers is will the ministry continue to support the sport so that the players can be kept active globally in readiness for major events like Africa Games and Olympic Games.
Aussies undying passion for Commonwealth Games
Since the start of the Commonwealth Games in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada; no nation has hosted the ‘Friendly Games’ more than Australia.
The Aussies have hosted twice the last five editions of the Commonwealth Games and they would yet be hosting the 2026 edition in Victoria City.
Sydney hosted it in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982, Melbourne in 2006, Gold Coast in 2018 while the State of Victoria would be the country’s sixth in 2026.
Apart from hosting the multi-sports fiesta, Australia has been the most successful nation with the highest number of gold medals than any other nation including 932 gold, 774 silver and 709 bronze medals which exceeded that of any other country at the close of the others that as of 2018 edition in Gold Coast.