As Nigerians look anxiously to the day the countryâ€™s national anthem would be played at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast as a sign that a gold medal has been won, one Paralympic athlete, Paul Kehinde has anointed himself as the one to end the anxious wait.
Kehinde competes in the Powerlifting 65 kg but has to contend with body weights from 49 to 72 who are equally eyeing the gold in that category.
The secret to a podium performance is not only dependent on what you lift but mostly determined Â by the athletes body weight. The lower you weigh, the better chances you have in overtaking those you tie with in the weights lifted.
â€˜â€™Iâ€™m focused. There is no problem here in the Village. The only problem that I have is focusing on the gold medal. And for me to strike gold, I have to lose weight not to be surprised by those weighing less than meâ€™â€™, Kehinde said after a strenuous exercise that spanned hours aimed at keeping in shape for the Dâ€™ Day.
Kehinde may look harmless but his credentials and the number of World Records he has crashed speaks for him.
â€œEvery competition he attends, he breaks World Recordsâ€™â€™ national Paralympic Coach, Are Feyisetan said, concurring that his athlete Â was Â a gold material.
Kehinde smashed the World records in Rio Brazil for the Olympics where his amazing lift of 220kg could not be attempted by other athletes. In Mexico at the World Championships, Kehinde shattered his own World record with 221kg lift. He did not stop there. At the World Cup and Olympic qualifiers in Dubai in February, Kehinde went for 222kg lift. The World looked in amazement and he powered the lift to the sky and held it up until the mandatory counts to make history again.
Out here though, Kehinde is facing difficulties because of the logging of so many weights together to fight for the weight. Â â€˜â€™Iâ€™m ready and focussed but I want to lose weight so as not to be knocked out by those whose body Â weights are smaller than mine. I promise to deliver Nigeria with a gold and also a world recordâ€™â€™, he pledged as his competitionÂ beginsÂ on Wednesday.