Aruna Quadri arrived in Australia on Sunday to assist Nigeria in their campaign at the team event of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Veteran player Segun Toriola guided Nigeria into the semifinal of the team event in the absence of Quadi and he ( Quadri) is expected to be in action on Monday as he join forces with Bode Abiodun, Toriola, Azeez Jamiu and Olajide Omotayo to push the country to a respectable outing in the sport at the Games.
Toriola expressed his happiness at Qadri the Portuguese passed teammate saying they would aim to improve on their bronze effort at the last edition of the Games in Glasgow four years ago.
“We’re set to go in our events with the arrival of Quadri. His presence will fire us,” he said.
National coach Bello Nosiru said, “We played well without Quadri, now that he is around, we won’t look back in our quest for gold in the team event and the singles.”
Quadri is the highest ranking player competing at Games, and Nosiru is confident the 29-year-old will cope with the pressure at the event to win a medal.
Meanwhile, current Paralympics and world record holder in the men’s powerlifting event Paul Kehinde has vowed to rule his class (-65kg) at the Gold Coast 2018 Games.
Kehinde said last month his target at the Games was to set a record that will stay unbroken for about a decade.
Kehinde won gold at Glasgow 2014 and also won gold at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio after smashing the world record twice with a lift of 220kg.
At the IPC Powerlifting World Championships held in Mexico in 2017, he broke his own record of 220kg with a lift of 220.5kg.
Kehinde went further to break his own world record of 220.5kg at the 2018 Fazza World Cup held in Dubai in February with a lift of 221kg.
Powerlifting begins on Wednesday, and the 29-year-old lifter says he is raring to go.
“There is no problem here in the Games Village,” Kehinde told reporters on Sunday.
“The only problem I have is focusing on winning gold, and I have to lose weight not to be surprised by those weighing lesser than me.”