Powerlifter Tijani wins Africa's first Paralympic gold

8 months ago 3334
Latifat TijaniTijani is a former hairdresser but quit in 2017 to focus on her training

Nigerian powerlifter Latifat Tijani has become the first African to win gold at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics as she triumphed in the 45kg final.

Tijani outperformed Cui Zhe of China and Justyna Ozdryk of Poland, who finished second and third respectively, in a hard-fought final.

Cui looked set for gold after lifting 110kg with Tijani failing at 105, only for Tijani to surge ahead at the last try.

"I was crying - I was in tears when I lost 105 and the second time, I was getting 105 again," the Nigerian said.

"The third time I go 110 and China I see 110. I told my coach, 'this is war, we must do something about this'. I must get the gold.

"My coach said I should go and fight for gold. I talked to myself: 'what is wrong with you, why are you losing 105, I must catch it'. And I got it."

Tijani is a former hairdresser, but quit the job in 2017 to focus on powerlifting.

She said that a gold medal can "change my life."

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