TIJANI Latifat became the first athlete to win a medal for team Nigeria in Tokyo2020 with a gold in the women’s 45-kg para-powerlifting.
Latifat put up a proper fightback after her first lift of 105kg was disallowed.
The Ogun state born athlete, came back strong with burning enthusiasm to write her name in gold with her second attempt of 105kg and her third attempt was 107kg.
She attempted 117kg to set a games record but she did not succeed. She was not prepared for it. It was the Nigerian delegation that urged her to attempt the games record as her failure would not affect the result.
Silver was Cui Zhe of China. She started with 95kg, then 100kg in successful 1st and second attempts. When she saw Latifat had lifted 105kg, she booked 110kg and even increased it to 112kg for her final attempt
Bronze medalist, Justyna Kozdryk of Poland started with 93kg and 95kg successfully. She then booked 101kg for her final attempt knowing she was already in the podium.
The gold medal is an upgrade on the silver she won at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Latifat’s gold medal in Tokyo brings Nigeria’s medal haul in the history of the Paralympics to 71.