With 8 gold medals among the total haul of 12, the 2016 Paralympics in Rio is Nigeria’s best ever.
PREMIUM TIMES brings you an overview of the 12 athletes who made the country proud in their various events at the Paralympics.
Ezuruike Roland (Powerlifting Men’s -54 kg Gold Medal winner)
The Nigerian Power-lifer set three Paralympic Records (PR) enroute his victory in Rio as he ended with a lift of 200kg.
Before his success in Rio, Ezuruike had won medals at the African Games as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he won a silver medal in the Men’s 72kg.
Kehinde Paul (Powerlifting Men’s -65 kg Gold Medal Winner)
Kehinde twice broke the men’s -65kg World Record (WR) to win GOLD in the Powerlifting event.The 28-year-old lifted an astonishing 220kg to claim gold in style at the Rio Games.
Born in Lagos, Kehinde competed in the men’s 72 kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he also won a gold medal.
Ejike Lucy (Powerlifting Women’s -61 kg Gold Medal winner)
Ejike demonstrated that she is a leader indeed shattering the Paralympic and World Record three successive times en-route winning gold in the women’s -61kg event in PowerliftingThe 38-year-old, who PREMIUM TIMES understands was condemned to using a wheelchair due to polio, is an old war house.
Her outing in Rio is the fifth Paralympic appearance, having made her debut in Athens Greece where she won gold.
Condemned to silver medals in Sydney and London Games, Ejike finally got it right in Rio which may be her last outing.
Onye Lauritta (Athletics Women’s Shot Put – F40 Gold Medal winner)
Onye handed Team Nigeria her first medal in the athletes event, clinching gold in the women’s shot put F40.Onye’s first throw of 7.83m saw her break her world record of 7.72m set at the 2015 IPC world athletics championships in Doha.
Her second throw landed at 7.54m, while she went one centimetre further on her third attempt.
Onye then went on to unleash an astonishing throw of 8.40m on her fourth attempt to secure the gold medal in the event.
Nwosu Ndidi (Powerlifting Women’s -73 kg Gold Medal winner)
Nwosu beat the defending champion to win women’s -73kg Powerlifting event.It was a dramatic win for the 37-year-old who had to lift 140kg to equal the Paralympics Record (PR) before she could usurp France’s Souhad Ghazouani who looked like she had GOLD in her kitty.
Omolayo Bose (Powerlifting Women’s -79 kg Gold Medal winner)
Omolayo shattered her own World Record (WR) and set a new one of 138kg to win Nigeria’s sixth GOLD medal in Rio.The 27-year-old Commonwealth silver medalist came to Rio as the firm favourite in her event and she did not disappoint wining in spectacular fashion.
Ugwunwa Flora (Athletics Women’s Javelin Throw – F53/54)
The 32-year-old put up a splendid display as she erased Tunisian Hania Aidi’s World Record (WR) of 18.86m set at the IPC World Championships in Doha last year.Ugwunwa furthered the mark by almost 2m, throwing an impressive 20.25m in her third attempt to also shatter Liwan Yang’s Paralympic Record (PR) of 17.89m set at the London Games four years ago.
Ugwunwa emerged as the top gun in the women’s F54 Javelin throw.
Orji Josephine (Powerlifting Women’s +86 kg Gold Medal winner)
Orji shattered the world record of the women’s +86kg power-lifting event with a lift of 154kg to win the gold medal.The swashbuckling fair complexioned Nigerian ended the gold rush after earning the eighth for the country in what could largely be seen as a successful outing in Rio.
Tijani Latifat (Powerlifting Women’s -45 kg silver medal winner)
Tijani won Team Nigeria’s first medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, clinching Silver in the women’s -45kg Powerlifting event.
Oyema Esther (Powerlifting Women’s -55 kg Silver medal winner)
Oyema gave Nigeria her third medal of the 2016 Paralympic Games; winning silver in the women’s -55 kg event.
She won with a lift of 127 kg in the nine-athlete event.
Innocent Nnamdi (Powerlifting Men’s -72 kg Bronze medal winner)
Innocent with a lift of 210kg muscled his way to the podium as he settled for bronze behind China’s Lei Liu who won gold and Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin who claimed the silver medal.
Iyiazi Eucharia (Athletics Women’s Discus Throw – F56/57 Bronze medal winner)
Veteran Iyiazi at 42 won Nigeria’s final medal in Rio and it could also be her final having seen it all since making her debut show at the Paralympics over a decade ago.This is Iyiazi’s fifth appearance at the Paralympics and her fourth medal.
She won Silver at the Athens 2004 Games, two gold medals in the F57/58 Discus and Shot put events at the Beijing 2008 and Bronze at London 2012.