By Duro Ikhazuagbe
Team Nigeria’s medals haul at the ongoing Paralympic Games continued Tuesday as Loveline Obiji stretched the number of gold medals won in power-lifting to five on Day Six of the London 2012.
The 21 year-old Obiji lifted 145kg to pick the gold medal of the women’s -82.50kg category ahead of Egyptian Randa Mahmoud. The Egyptian could only stop at 140kg while Yanmei Xu of China settled for the bronze medal with her 129kg lift.
Meanwhile, Team Nigeria athletes are in high spirit and focused on their daily events at the Games. Nigeria has so far won five Gold, five Silver and one Bronze medals and is currently ranked number 12th on the general medal table and ranked number 1 in the Powerlifting medal table.
According to the Team Nigeria Chef de Mission to the Paralympic Games, Dr Simon Ebhojiaye the country’s athletes here, have broken four Paralympic and World Records at the London 2012.
“Never in the history of Paralympic Games has Nigeria recorded such a performance in such a short space of time (in five days of competition).
“The team is competing in 8 other events (Powerlifting & Athletics) between today September 4th and 8th. The Team deserves the prayers and encouragements of all Nigerians to do well in the tasks ahead,” observed the team leader.
He said that there was no iota of truth in some reports in a section of the media speculating that allowances have not been paid.
“The attempt by some individuals to push the outstanding performance of our Paralympic athletes at the Games to obscurity by sensational reportage of concocted information to say the least is most deplorable.
“The Nigerian Paralympians at the London Games have done remarkably well and should be celebrated as national heroes and not vilified as a bunch of irresponsible Nigerians lacking in discipline. It takes discipline, hard work, dedication, love of self and country to achieve the Paralympian heights, which our athletes have reached the past couple of days in the city of London.
Dr Ebhojiaye insisted that many Nigerians resident in the UK (and of course elsewhere), were very impressed with the efforts and determination of the athletes and are able to walk tall with pride and dignity in London among other nationals.