A week after Kenya received an extra Olympics slot in women boxing, there was another surprise as the country gets a chance to field another athlete through the wild card slot, this time in weightlifting.
Women national champion Mercy Obiero, 63kg, was on Monday awarded a slot by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to represent Kenya in the London Olympic Games.
This was after IWF was satisfied with her performance at the Africa Weightlifting Championship, which were also Olympics trials. Kenya hosted the event, but failed to use their home advantage to win no slot in February.
Just like boxer Elizabeth Andiego, who was last week awarded Olympic slot in by world amateur boxing federation, AIBA, Obiero will also be the first Kenyan female to represent the country at Olympics in weightlifting.
The last time Kenya was represented in weightlifting at the global games was in 1996 in Atlanta, USA, by former national heavyweight sensation Collins Okoth Nyawalo in the 100kg category.
“Immediately after the Africa trials I kept on training hard, I didn’t know that I was keeping abreast with other Olympic counterparts. I believed that I still could participate in the Olympics. Yesterday I was surprised to receive that magic call from our federation that I have been awarded the slot,” Obiero told Feverpitch.
She explained that she received the good news from Kenya Amateur Weightlifting Association chairman Pius Ochieng’.
Obiero has been training at the federation’s gym, which is at Steel City in Pangani, Nairobi.
Obiero said her hopes in weightlifting have been rejuvenated and she is glad her efforts in the game for over a decade have yielded positive results.