It was a massive Sunday for Team Nigeria at the Rio Paralympics as Lucy Ejike won gold for Nigeria in a very sensational fashion. The Team Nigeria captain earned global attention by smashing the Paralympic and World Records three successive times while dominating the women’s -61kg event in Powerlifting event.
Egypt’s Fatma Omar finished in the second position with her lift of 140kg while China’s Yan Yang won the bronze medal lifting 128kg.
The achievements of the other two athletes were however drowned by what Lucy was able to do at the Riocentro Pavillion 2. The Nigeria captain started off with a successful lift at 136.0kg, which then became a new Paralympic Record and World Record as well. The Nigerian who was also a star of the London Paralympics then improved her record by lifting 138.0kg at her next attempt, before completing the quality outing with a massive lift of 142.0kg. Egypt’s Omar had lifted 140kg which prompted the Nigerian to ask for 142kg.
Her performance was well received with matching ovation.
Lucy’s medal is Nigeria’s fifth at the Games. Two other Nigerians competing also in the powerlifting event – Roland Ezuruike and Paul Kehinde – started the gold chase with their wins on Friday. Latifat Tijani and Esther Onyema won silver medals to make it all five medals for the country so far as the events continue.
Nigeria’s performance at the Paralympics has not come as any surprise to many as the country returned with gold medals from London 2012. Indeed it was the performance of the special athletes that gave Nigeria the top position at the 2003 All Africa Games held in Abuja.
The Rio Paralympic Games which began September 7 will end on the 18th.