Paralympics: I can’t eat, says elated gold medallist Tijani


Nigeria’s para-powerlifter, Latifat Tijani, says she is so happy after winning the country’s first gold medal at the ongoing 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games that she’s been unable to eat.

Tijani won the gold medal in the women’s -45kg para-powerlifting event after lifting 107kg to defeat China’s Zhe Cui.

After her heroic feat in Tokyo, the athlete from Ogun State, a silver medallist at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, spoke on how she had to challenge herself to become the country’s first medallist at the Games.

“At the moment I cannot eat and I’m not sure I want to eat until tomorrow (today) because I feel so happy,” Tijani stated after her gold-winning feat.

She added, “I feel so good and I also tried not to allow the earlier disappointment of my teammates to affect me. All of me and my mind are all about powerlifting because I love what I am doing.

“There was a lot of drama between me and the lifter from China and I was so close to tears. When I lost 105kg at first attempt and second time I was successful and was pushing for 110kg, I saw the Chinese lifter was pushing for 110kg too.

“I told my coach, ‘this is war, we must do something about it and get the gold medal.’ But my coach just said I should fight for it and I braced myself up. That was how I was able to achieve it.

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“The lifter from China really pushed me but I thank God that I was able to do it. I am not ashamed to say that she really pushed me.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Dr. Kehinde Oluwadare, through his media aide, Gbenga Arowora, told The PUNCH said Tijani, who hails from Ogun, made the state proud.

“We are so happy for her because she made us proud as a state and it goes to show that the government’s investment in sport is gradually bearing fruits.

“Tijani enjoys what she is doing and she deserves the gold medal for all her all efforts and pain and we would be glad to welcome her home.”

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