Libyan Weightlifter, Ahmed Abu Zeriba eyes gold at Olympics

Ahmed Abu Zeriba

Libyan weightlifter, Ahmed Abu Zeriba is heading to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with the hopes of many Libyans expecting a medal.

He fended off completion from Ghana, Algeria and Botswana weightlifters to represent the continent at the Olympics after winning three gold medals in the 96-kg category at the African Weightlifting Championships.

“My future ambition is to break African records, that is the first step, then the second step is to win a world championship, and the third step is to get a good ranking at the Olympics,” Ahmed Abu Zeriba says.

Zeriba’s determination however hit a hard time with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced the Olympics originally scheduled for 2020 to postpone.

He also struggled to cope with the harsh economic conditions, as a result of years of civil war since the fall of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

“As for the difficulties that I faced recently is the coronavirus pandemic. And the other difficulty is my inability to reconcile between study, exercise and work, because as you know, as a young man, I need money so that I can go out with my friends, these are the difficulties that I face,” explains the Libyan weightlifting champion.

Khalil Ali, Libya’s weightlifting national team coach, has been following Abu Zeriba’s career, who has never missed a training session in this Misrata gym.

“The champ, Ahmed Abu Zeriba, started in 2013. When Ahmed came to us, I knew that he was an excellent athlete, that stood out in terms of strength, he learned the kinetic technique quickly. In the first Libyan championship he participated in he got first place in the junior category. And he was regular in training,” recalls Khalil Ali.

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