Edidiong Joseph Umoafia, the only men’s weight lifting medallist at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games has admitted that his bronze medal is as golden as the sunlight.
The African Youth Games champion settled for bronze in the men’s 67kg behind India’s Lalrinnunga Jeremy and Samoa’s Vaipava Ioane who claimed gold and silver respectively on Tuesday.
“I was so happy because I was not the only one looking for the medal (for Team Nigeria), we are plenty and you know, after gold is silver, bronze and people always fight for gold and silver,” the 19-year-old said here.“In any world title event, the bronze will always be cherished just like gold.
“Many people are going for bronze because they have already seen gold and silver; and I put in my efforts to be the bronze winner.”
The youngster admitted he would have done better but for inexperience at this level: “I’m still in the junior level as every other person that participated in the Commonwealth Games is senior.
“So, they have more experience than me and they have been to more competitions than me.
“At least, they did their best and I tried to do my best even though I thought I was going to win gold because my performance in the snatch was that of a gold medalist.
“ Unfortunately, the competition turned around for me to settle for bronze but I still cherish my golden bronze medal.”
Having almost conquered his weight class in Birmingham, Umoafia is setting his eyes on clinching an Olympic Games medal at Paris 2024.
He said: “There was no regret about not getting the gold medal because a medal is a medal. I did not win gold today does not mean I won’t win gold tomorrow and this is my first-time winning bronze at the Commonwealth Games.
“ I have not won bronze before; I’ve been winning gold and silver (in other competitions) . I just felt like I had won a gold medal, that’s me. I’m very happy with this bronze medal,” he added.