Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Lucy Ejike successfully defended her world title at the ongoing World Para Powerlifting Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Monday.
On a day that saw a series of shocks, the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist lived up to the ‘favourite’ tag as she claimed a gold medal in a quite comfortable fashion in the 61kg weight class.
The 41-year-old pushed 132 kg on her third attempt to clinch gold ahead of Uzbekistan’s Ruza Kuzieva (125 kg) and Ukrainian Rayisa Toporkova (123kg), who settled for silver and bronze respectively.
After the event, Ejike told newsmen she was not at her best, but is hoping to peak at the Paralympics in Tokyo next year.
“I am saving my power and best for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. You need to watch and wait for me in Tokyo.
“Becoming a champion is easier than maintaining being a champion. I get inspired when people look up to me and expect from me (to win); I have been a champion for so many years and I always try to achieve more to inspire the next generation,” she said.
Ejike has been representing Nigeria since her first appearance at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games where she won a silver medal in the 44 kg weight class.