Laurrita Onye’s rivals were no match for her in the women’s Shot put F40 as she totally dominated the event to win the country’s first Track and Field medal, and a GOLD one at that, on Day 4 of the Rio Paralympics.
The Nigerian broke the World Record (WR) twice to distinguish herself from the rest of the field. Her first throw of 7.83m saw her break her WR of 7.72m set at the 2015 IPC World Athletics Championships in Doha.
Her second throw landed at 7.54m, while she went 1cm further on her third attempt. Onye then went on to unleash an astonishing throw of 8.40m on her fourth attempt to secure the GOLD medal in the event.
Incidentally, her first throw was good enough to clinch the title, seeing that Silver medallist, Tunisia’s Rima Abdelli had a best throw of 7.37m, while Lara Baars of the Netherlands won Bronze with 7.12m.
Interestingly, the trio emerged medallists at last year’s World Championships, although Baars finished ahead of Abdelli at the time. Worthy of mention is the fact that Onye won Nigeria’s only medal at the event.
Onye’s medal is Nigeria’s seventh at the ongoing Rio Games, and the fourth GOLD medal, following the footsteps of Roland Ezuruike, Paul Kehinde and Lucy Ejike. Latifat Tijani and Esther Oyema won Silver medals, while Nnamdi Innocent claimed a Bronze medal in his event.
Fans of the pint-sized athlete will be thrilled to know that she combines her love for Athletics with a career in acting, and has featured in movies produced by the Nigerian film industry popularly referred to as Nollywood.