Victorious Nigerian paralympic athletes arrive
Reception Holds Today In Abuja
Athletes and officials of Team Nigeria to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be given a red carpet reception this afternoon in Abuja.With eight gold, two silver and two bronze medals, the Nigerian Paralympic team finished as Africa’s No. 1 and 12th on the overall medals’ table.
Special Assistant on Media to the Sports Minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze told The Guardian yesterday that the team would arrive the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja at 3pm today. She said that reception for the victorious team would take place immediately at the Airport Reception Ground.
According to her, the sports ministry will receive the athletes and their officials today until President Muhammadu Buhari return from his trip to New York, United States, where he is attending the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
For Anibeze, there is need for Nigerians to celebrate the Paralympic athletes for their hard work, determination, endurance, excellence and the ‘I can do it’ spirit. Though, curtains will fall on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games later today, it was learnt that Team Nigeria left Brazil yesterday immediately after completing their event.
With no complaint of “lack of funds” which has turned out to be the usual song of some Nigerian athletes and administrators, the nation’s paralympians went about their business diligently. They will be arriving Abuja in a blaze of glory today.
In Rio, Nigerian athletes broke more records than their previous appearance in the Games. The Games was barely two days, when Roland Ezuruike won gold in the 54Kg powerlifting event in an astonishing manner. Earlier on same day, Latifat Tijani won silver medal when she lifted 106kg in the 45kg category.
From then on, it was medals and world records galore for Nigeria, as shot putter, Lauritta Onye smashed the world record to win gold, Nigeria’s first medal in Track and Field, just as Josephine Orji won a gold by shattering the world record in the women’s +86kg power-lifting event with a lift of 154kg.
Another world record came from Flora Ugwunwa who won the Women’s Javelin Throw event, while Team Nigeria’s captain, Lucy Ejike, broke the Paralympics and world record three successive times to win the women’s -61kg event in power-lifting. Bose Omolayo also joined the party as she eclipsed her own world record and set a new one of 138kg to win gold.
Other medalists include Paul Kehinde, who won gold in the -65kg men’s category, lifting 218kg, and Latifat Tijani, who grabbed a silver medal in the women’s power-lifting -45kg
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