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Anozie Completes Nigeria’s Gold Conquests

Anozie Completes Nigeria’s Gold Conquests

Grace Anozie of Nigeria reacts after making a successful lift in the women’s +82.50 kg Powerlifting on Day 7 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at ExCeL.

Nigerian power-lifters rounded off their conquest of the London 2012 Paralympics Games with fanfare as Grace Anozie grabbed Nigeria’s sixth gold medal in the final day of the power-lifting event yesterday.

Anozie took gold after lifting 162kg. Anozie who is a veteran of the Paralympics finally got her gold after 12 years of trying, when she lifted 162kg in the +82kg category at the London ExCel Centre. Anozie set a new world record in February. Her main aim here in London was to surpass her 168kg best performance, but it almost turned out to be a nightmare. She struggled to lift 162kg, which however was good enough to win her first gold.

Her main rival from Egypt, Heba Ahmed gave up the fight, after Anozie finally lifted 162kg in her second attempt. The Egyptian who was defending the gold from Beijing 2008 lifted 140kg in her first try and her second shot at 145kg ended in fiasco and she threw in the towel. She got the silver, while Mexican Peria Barcenas settled for bronze with 135kg.

“I feel good. I’ve been fighting for years to get my hands on that gold medal. In Beijing I was robbed, but here I didn’t want that to happen,” said Anozie who won bronze at Athens 2004 and silver at the 2008 Olympics.

She added that the weather played a part in her attempt to surpass her world record. “London is too cold and it didn’t allow my muscles to warm up properly. In training I have lifted more than 168kg.”

Team Nigeria captain Obioma Aligekwe was however, not that successful on the final day of the event. He was beaten to the forth place in the men’s 100kg category.

“I’m really disappointed that I didn’t win gold. As team Nigerian captain I wanted to lead by example.” Nigeria won an overall six gold medals five of them coming from women power-lifters. As at yesterday the medals tally was six gold, five silver and one bronze.

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