By Emmanuel Afonne
The Para Power-lifting Federation of Nigeria has dropped its “experienced” national coach, Monday Emoghavwe, ahead of the 2020 Paralympics, scheduled to hold between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5 in Tokyo, Japan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Emoghavwe who is now the Para Power-lifting Coach of FCT was dropped by the Federation’s President, Ruel Ishaku, and replaced him with Kemi Oyebola, the Coach of Ogun.
Ishaku told NAN that Emoghavwe was not dropped for any wrong doing but said that other coaches should be giving the opportunity to serve.
“We have two coaches, Kemi Oyebola, the Head Coach, and Jude, the coach of Abia. We have many good coaches and they are among the best.
“Monday Emoghavwe is not there this time around; we cannot have all the coaches in camp for the Games and we have chances of working with only two coaches, so, we cannot have everybody.
“The coaches there now are experienced; Oyebola has been travelling with the athletes for international events and we have seen her capability.
“For Jude, he was the coach that took them to Dubai for the 2021 World Championship and as the coach of Abia, he has been producing good athletes.
“The problem we have now is that some of our good athletes that can replace the ageing ones are not on the pathway to the Paralympics; the pathway started since 2017,” Ishaku said.
Reacting to the development, Emoghavwe noted that his exclusion came to him as a surprise.
Emoghavwe, a former President of the Paralympic Committee of Nigeria (PCN), said he won gold for the country in Para-powerlifting, in his first appearance at the Paralympic Games in 2008 in Beijing.
“I was not called to camp this time; the president of the federation said I should step aside for another person to continue, so, I only handle FCT Power-lifters for now.
“I was told that I have stayed too long in the place, that it will be good for another person to try.
“However, it will be difficult for someone who has not coached a team to the Paralympics to follow the intrigues and intimidation at the Games.
“I am not saying that I should be there forever, but a major sport like this ought to go to Paralympics with its best athletes and coaches because this game has its tactics,” Emoghavwe said.
NAN reports that Nigeria won six gold medals in Para-powerlifting at the London 2012 Paralympics before increasing it to eight at the 2016 event hosted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)