Nigeria's Latifat Tijani won women's 45kg gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics ©Getty Images

Nigeria will bid to continue their domination of Para powerlifting competitions at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games here, with events in the women's and men's lightweight and heavyweight categories set to be held tomorrow.

The country has won all 12 gold medals in the sport since it made its debut at the Commonwealth Games at Manchester 2002, and is set to be represented by eight athletes at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham tomorrow.

On the women's side, the lightweight category is open to athletes up to 61 kilograms, meaning 45kg Paralympic champion Latifat Tijani is set to feature.

The heavyweight division includes fellow Nigerian Paralympic gold medallists in Bose Omolayo at 79kg and Alice Folashade Oluwafemiayo at 86kg.

Tijani is expected to face a challenge from Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist and World Championship runner-up at 50kg Olivia Broome of England, as well as her compatriot Zoe Newton, who is a two-time Paralympic medallist and took bronze at Gold Coast 2018.

The heavyweight competition is notable for featuring Vanuatu's Ellie Enock, who is also due to compete in the women's shot put F55/57 in Para athletics on Saturday (August 6).

English hopeful Louise Sugden, a Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist at 86kg, withdrew due to injury.

Nigeria's dominance of the sport could be under threat in the men's lightweight category, open to athletes up to 72kg.

Malaysia's Bonnie Bunyau Gustin won gold at 65kg at the World Championships in 2019, before moving up to 72kg and earning the same result at last year's event and the Paralympics in Tokyo.

Nigeria's Abdulazeez Ibrahim has won men's heavyweight Para powerlifting gold at the last two Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Nigeria's Abdulazeez Ibrahim has won men's heavyweight Para powerlifting gold at the last two Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Nnamdi Innocent, a Rio 2016 bronze medallist, provides Nigeria's most likely source of success, while India's Paramjeet Kumar is also capable of challenging.

In the heavyweight division, Abdulazeez Ibrahim is seeking a third consecutive title for Nigeria, while his compatriot Ikechukwu Obichukwu is returning to international competition for the first time in eight years.

He previously won silver in the 52kg at London 2012.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist at 72kg Micky Yule, who was one of Scotland's flagbearers at the Opening Ceremony, harbours hopes of a first Commonwealth Games medal on his third appearance.

Coach Jude Ihuarulam insisted that Nigeria are capable of further success at Birmingham 2022.

"If you look around the world, there are many countries that are strong in one particular sport," Ihuarulam said.

"We are strong in Para powerlifting.

"It's the food we eat, the type of training we do, our development programme, and our climate helps too.

"We can spend three or four hours in the gym, and afterwards we do more exercises.

"We start on time, catch them young.

"We have a very powerful development programme, and have our own Para powerlifting federation, which is not part of the weightlifting federation.

"We have good funding from the Government - without it we would not have this success.

"We have many coaches all over Nigeria, not just in one area.

"We have a sports festival for Para powerlifting, we have trials where we select from all over.

"There are so many athletes I can't count them.

"The programme and the support has been there for a very long time.

"We can't lose.

"We are not here to lose, we are focused on winning."

Results in both weight categories for the Para powerlifting are calculated using a formula which takes into account the athletes' bodyweights.