Team Nigeria stood at the ninth position on the overall medals table when competition ended on Monday at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. The medals haul of six gold, two silver and one bronze put Nigeria at the number one position amongst the African countries. The Tunisians at the 12th position with four gold, five silver and two bronze are next while the South Africans occupy the 16th position overall and third on the African table.
Ndidi Nwosu and Bose Omolayo added to the gold medals on Monday. Nwosu won the women’s -73kg Power-lifting event with her very last attempt.
Omolayo broke her own World Record and then produced a new one of 138kg to win Nigeria’s sixth gold.
Late on Sunday, Nigeria’s Lauritta Onye defeated a field that included Lara Baars of Netherlands to win the women’s shot put (F40) and the fourth gold for the country.
The athletes were expected to receive their allowances by Monday. An official of the sports ministry, who spoke with The PUNCH from Brazil, said everything was okay with the athletes.
She said, “It’s been a smooth outing for us so far. As for the money you spoke about, we’ve not had any issue. Indeed the Permanent Secretary arrived in Rio on Saturday and the director in charge of the players package came in today (Monday) to settle all bills.
“We expect they should get their cash tonight (Monday) or latest tomorrow (Tuesday). Most of them are at the venues competing right now, so it is when they return to the Games Village that payment can be made. But the situation here is certainly different from the impression given of the other Olympics.”
Meanwhile, South African swimmer Achmat Hassiem, who lost his leg to a shark, has devoted his life to shark- protection.
“I was recently made a global marine guardian by the UN. My forte is sharks – who better to protect them than me?” said Hassiem, who will pursue his conservation role full-time when he retires from competition after the conclusion of the Games.
The 34-year-old was taking part in a lifeguard training exercise off Muizenberg beach, near Cape Town, South Africa, in August 2006 when a five-metre Great White appeared. After seeing it circle his younger brother, Hassiem drummed on the water’s surface in a desperate bid to distract the predator. He lost his leg below the knee as a result, an injury that transformed his life.