As the Paralympic Games in Rio billed to hold between September 7th – 18th draws closer, the Nigerian Paralympic Committee in partnership with the Sports Ministry announced the list of athletes who will be flying the country’s flag at the Olympic event.
It is also confirmed that Nigeria would be competing in only three Sports ( Athletics, Powerlifting and Table-tennis out of about 23 sports) where she has comparative advantage at the Games. The Committee through its Media Officer, Patrick Ibeh stated that 6 athletes made up of 5 females and 1 male would compete in Athletics events while 14 athletes (7 males and 7 females) are to take part in Powerlifiting events. Table-tennis has only 3 athletes (2 males and 1 female) representing the country.
There are indeed names the world would be looking out for as they represent both the country and the African continent. We have highlighted the profile of these athletes which reveals their Golden moments.
Track and field features the following athletes who will be coached by Patrick Aieto and Adekunle Adesoji.
Hannah Babalola (African Record Holder, T54 100m & 200m ranks Number in the Women’s 200m T54 ),
Eucharia Iyiazi (She competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China. There, she won a gold medal in both the women’s shot putt F57/F58 event and the women’s discus throw F57/F58 event).
Lovina Onyegbule ( She won two gold medals at the All African Games in Cogo Brazil last year in the 100m T11 and 200m T12 events)
Flora Ugwunwa (won Silver in Javelin Throw F54/56 at the last All African Games but will be participating in F54 in)
Friday Aibangbe, the only male in this team ranks 6th in the world of Men’s Discuss Throw F11
Powerlifting Team team have Prince Are Feyisetan, Luke Ibeh both males and Patience Igbiti (female) as their coaches.
Yakubu Adesokan ( He also set a world record at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London with a lift of 177 kg, had a record performance in the Men’s up to 49kg category as he lifted a massive 182.5kg to win the first gold medal for Team Nigeria in the Para Lifting event at All African Games 2015. He also won a silver medal at Open Asia Championship held in Kazakhstan)
Roland Ezuruike ( 182kg had a great competition for Nigeria at All Africa Games 2015, with gold in the men’s up to 54kg, he also won Silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Common wealth games on his major international debut and has placed himself at the top of the rankings for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games 2016 as on of the athletes to watch out for. He went on to win Open gold at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting Asian Open Championships, cementing his place amongst the world’s best.
Abdulazeez Ibrahim ( Another world champion who won gold medal at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting World Championship in Dubai U.A.E. He clinched a Silver in as well in the men’s Heavyweight , lifting a total weight of 197.0kg in Glasgow, and a sliver in 2015 All african Games lifting 194.68 pts in 97 – 107kg category)
Lucy Ejike (One of the 22 names released by the International Paralympic Committee to run for for election to the IPC Athlete’s Council. He is a 2 times women Paralympic Champion, she won Gold in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 Olympics)
Ndidi Nwosu ( Silver medalist at the 2015 IPC Powerlifting European Open Championships in Eger, Hungary. Ndidi who won gold medal at the All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville, silver medal in Women’s 73kg )
Opeyemi Jegede ( Bronze Medalist Men’s 88kg category of the same European Championship)
Esther Onyema ( She set a new world record in the Women’s up to 55kg category when she lifted 133kg to won Gold at Glasgow 2014).
Nsini Ben (She picked Silver medal at the All African Games in 90kg )
Bose Omolayo (Competed and won a Silver medal at the Common Wealth Games in Glasgow 2014 )
Latifat Tijani ( She lifted 98kg to set new Africa record in the 45kg at 2015 All African Games in Congo)
Paul Kehinde ( He competed in the men’s 72 kg event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he won a gold medal).
Tolu-lope Taiwo ( A Silver medalist in 2015 All African Games in Congo )
Nnamdi Innocent ( A Silver medalist in 2015 All African Games in Congo )
Table Tennis event,
Nigeria will be represented in the female category by Faith Obiorah who was Nigeria’s flag-bearer at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. She will battle for medal in class five in Brazil. She was Crowned African champion when she won the Womens Singles Class 1-5 title in Agadir, Morocco last October. Also, a silver medallist in Womens Singles Class 1-5 a decade ago at the 2006 Commonwealth Games has enjoyed more recent success. In 2013 she was the silver medallist in Class 4-5 at the Mike Dempsey Memorial Tournament staged in San Diego in 2013.
Ahmed Koleosho and Emmanuel Nick will both compete at the men’s event at Rio. Ahmed won gold in Men’s Singles Class 1-3 while Emmanuel concluded the African Para Table Tenis Championship as silver medalist in Class 4.
The three players will be coached by Chinedu Njoku.