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Tokyo Paralympics: Tijani wins gold in Nigeria’s first medal

The winner of Nigeria’s first gold medal at the ongoing Paralympic games in Tokyo, Latifat Tijani, is excited by her new feat.

Tijani said she was proud to show Chinese powerlifters that Nigerians are stronger.

She explained that losing a gold medal to a Chinese at Rio 2016 made her work harder to win gold at Olympics.

Latifat said, “I’m so happy and glad for what I just achieved. I promised to bring home the gold and I thank God for helping me bring this gold home this year.

“I know that the Chinese lifters are very strong, but I promised myself that I would win my gold today. Ever since Rio 2016, when I took silver, that time I said that I would get the gold in Tokyo and I would collect it.

“I wanted to achieve it. I was non-stop training.

“I am dedicating this Gold medal to my humble and hardworking coach who is always pushing and motivating me. He keeps me on my toes and makes me stay focused.”

Latifat Tijani put Team Nigeria on medal table on Thursday by winning the women’s -45kg event of the powerlifting competition.

The 39-year-old Ogun indigene had a best lift of 107kg to rank first and win the competition’s gold medal at the Tokyo International Forum.

Tijani failed his first attempt at 105kg, but went on to lift it at the second attempt.

She went on to lift 107kg in the third attempt, which was just one kg short of the Paralympic record set by Hu Dandan of China at the Rio Games.

Following Tijani in the competition was China’s Cui Zhe who lifted 102kg for the silver medal.

Poland’s Justyna Kozdryk won the bronze medal with a lift of 101kg.

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