Team Nigeria raked in additional gold and bronze medal yesterday morning to end the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on high with a total of four gold, one silver and five bronze medals.
Lauritta Onye’s bronze medal in the Women’s F40 Shot Put event was the harbinger of good news as Flora Ugwunwa put the icing on the cake with her gold medal in the women’s F54 javelin event.
Before Saturday, Nigeria had won three gold, one silver and four bronze medals.
Onye threw 8.29 to finish third behind Sliwinska Renata of Poland whose 8.75 metres cancelled off Lauritta’s games record of 8.40m set in Rio 2016 and Djelal Salem of Algeria who secured the silver medal with 8.33 metres.
Unhappy Onye blamed her failure to retain the gold medal she won at Rio 2016 on the difficult circumstances faced.
“I thank God that I won something but this is not my position. I came into this competition as the Paralympics Games record holder and I intended to defend that and possibly extend the record.
“First, they disqualified my competition shoes at the last call room. I couldn’t borrow from my competitors, some of whom had two or three standard shoes. Even my canvas was oversized.
“I had to compete barefooted. It was drizzling throughout, the ground was slippery and without shoes, I was always mindful not to fall. I had just one socks which constantly got soaked and I kept pulling it out and squeezing it.
“Seeing that I was trailing in the third position, I decided to give everything in my last attempt but while I had a long throw which would have given me the gold, I slipped and fell across the line and it was ruled a bad throw,” she lamented.