WORLD record holder in the men’s-49kg powerlifting, Yakubu Adesokan, has described his failure to appear for the event at the recently-concluded Rio Paralympics in Brazil as a divine happenstance.
Adesokan arrived late to the weigh-in event and was disqualified by the International Powelifting Committee from participating.
“I won’t blame anybody,” Adesokan told Tribunesport on Thursday.
“Though, it was very painful, who do you blame? It was a mix-up and those responsible were those who had been responsible for most of my world record feats, so I won’t be mad with them but I regard it as God’s doing, which is unquestionable”.
Recalling what happened on the day, the 2015 All Africa Games gold medallist said he was told the weigh-in was billed for 11am, while the real contest would begin by 1pm only to learn that the weigh-in had been concluded by 10am, while the competition was under way by 12 noon.
“Immediately, we realised our mistake, Team Nigeria’s officials rallied round and raised funds to pay fine for latecoming, but IPC maintained that there was no going back despite the fact that they knew that the Paralympics needed me as a world record holder,” the London 2012 Paralympics gold medallist stated.
Adesokan, whose world record 182.5kg remains intact despite his inability to compete at Rio 2016, confessed that he caused a scene at the event, but was cautioned by IPC President John Amos who threatened to arrest him.
“I was devasted by the disqualification. In fact, some of the Olympics officials around even said I should be injected by medical doctors to get over the shock, but I said there was no need for any medical assistance. So, I went straight back to the Games Village because I could not watch the event,” said the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
The powerlifter was full of praises for his coaches, the Federation officials and Team Nigeria officials for support, adding that he was pacified by the solidarity shown by everybody, including “our counterparts from other African countries”.