A veteran of four Paralympic Games, Nigeria’s Eucharia Iyiazi’s wealth of experience came to the fore as she dug deep to win a Bronze medal in the women’s F56/57 Discus throw final on Thursday at the ongoing Rio 2016 Games.

The Nigerian was the first competitor in the field, and her best throw after three attempts was a Season’s Best (SB) of 22.07m, which placed her in 7th position at the end of the first round. Not to be outdone, the 42-year old had to re-strategize to improve to an SB of 27.54m after six attempts, which was good enough for the Bronze medal.

GOLD went to World Record (WR) holder Nassima Saifi of Algeria who won her second consecutive title in the event with an impressive throw of 33.33m, just a little over 1m shy of her WR of 34.68m. Ireland’s Orla Barry won Silver with 30.06m.

In her four Paralympics outing for Nigeria, Iyiazi has never returned empty handed, winning Silver at the Athens 2004 Games, and then two GOLD medals in the F57/58 Discus and Shot put events at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics.

She was the only Track and Field athlete to win a medal at the London 2012 Games where she scooped Bronze. She narrowly missed out on a podium placement in the Shot put event held a week ago in Rio where she finished 4th.

Iyiazi would be ecstatic about her Bronze medal, considering that she was almost left out of the team to the Rio Paralympics. Her medal is the 3rd in Athletics, and 12th for Nigeria at the ongoing Games.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer at Making of Champions. She has a bias for athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the National Sports Festival and the African Athletics Championships, and has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN). Yemi holds a BA in Public Administration from Ahmadu Bello University .

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