Not many could have foretold the final outcome, but in what was a complete twist from what was expected, Nigeria’s Ndidi Nwosu on Monday afternoon landed her country’s fifth GOLD medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympics, beating the defending champion to win women’s -73kg Powerlifting event.
Just when it looked like Nwosu was going to settle for Bronze, she stepped up in her very last attempt, lifting 140kg to equal the Paralympics Record (PR) and usurp France’s Souhad Ghazouani who looked she had GOLD in her kitty.
It was a tactical move that paid off for Nwosu, who initially lifted a then PR of 123kg, but Ghazouani came and had an unassailable lead when she effortlessly lifted 135kg.
Nwosu didn’t rush things or opted to go after Ghazouani’s lead, rather she lifted 125kg in her second attempt with the French athlete stepping things up when she soared higher to lift 140kg next, setting a new PR.
It looked like the Nigerian was content with winning Silver, however when Egypt’s Amany Ali moved up to 2nd place with a lift of 127kg surpassing her, she had to come up with a plan to further move up in the standings.
Nwosu who initially wanted to go for 127kg requested for 140kg in her 3rd attempt and the Nigerian cleanly took it, surprisingly going into the lead and also matching Ghazouani’s PR. ‘
It was a move that paid off for Nwosu, because Ghazouani wanted to respond, but failed her attempt at 145kg as her Nigerian counterpart took GOLD having had a clean slate. The Nigerian won GOLD, with Ghazouani taking Silver and Ali winning Bronze.
Nwosu, who’s first name means Patience in English language, was patient enough to clinch the win and land her country’s fifth GOLD of the ongoing Paralympics.