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Paralympics: Iyiazi wins Nigeria’s 12th medal

Team Nigeria’s Eucharia Iyiazi won bronze on Thursday in the women’s F56/57 discus to bring the country’s medal haul at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games to 12. The athlete had finished fourth in the women’s F56/57 shot put last week.

Competing against the current world record holder, Algeria’s Nassima Saifi, Iyiazi threw a distance of 27.54m in her sixth attempt to win the medal.

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Iyiazi’s medal helped Nigeria to remain 10th in the medals table.

A veteran of four Paralympic Games, Iyiazi brought her wealth of experience to the fore as she dug deep to win the medal. The Nigerian was the first competitor in the field, and her best throw after three attempts was a season’s best of 22.07m, which placed her in 7th position at the end of the first round.

The 42-year-old however came back in the last three attempts to better her season’s best, which she improved to 27.54m to win the bronze.

Saifi won gold – her second consecutive title in the event – with a throw of 33.33m while Ireland’s Orla Barry won Silver with 30.06m.

In her four Olympics, Iyiazi has won silver at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. She also won two gold medals in the F57/58 discus and shot put events at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics. She won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Games.

Her medal is the third in athletics after Lauritta Onye and Flora Ugwunwa both won gold in shot put and javelin earlier in the week.

The performance of the Nigerian athletes has already surpassed the heights they reached in the last three Paralympics held in Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012. The competition will end on Sunday.

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