By Modupe Oremule
Lagos – Lauritta Onye, a Shot Put gold medallist at the ongoing Paralympics, on Wednesday advised para-athletes who wished to attain excellence at international meets to be self-confident and focused.
Onye threw 8.40m in the F40 Class to win the gold medal and increase Nigeria’s medal haul to seven gold, two silver and a bronze.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on telephone from Rio in Brazil that upcoming para-athletes should not be discouraged by the little or no support accorded physically challenged athletes.
“My advice to upcoming athletes is for them to work hard, be determined and have endurance. These are the tools needed to be successful in sports.
“They should not be bothered about the people’s perception of them.
“God also crowns the hardwork of focused athletes with good results.
“If you will recall, I promised that I will win gold with the help of God, and today it is fulfilled,’’ she said.
NAN recalls that the Achondroplasia athlete had told NAN in April that she would win a gold medal, adding that she had been training hard.
Taiwo Kasunmu, National Technical Director of Para-Athletics Federation of Nigeria, an affiliate Nigeria Paralympic Committee (NPC), told NAN that Onye had been hard working,
“She comes to the stadium in Surulere from her abode in Ajegunle area to train every day for the past two years.
“I am impressed with her performance, she should aspire for greater heights,’’ he said.
Onye had won Nigeria’s only medal at the 7th International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships held in Doha, Qatar in 2015
Achondroplasia is a short-limbed dwarfism, according to the IPC classification. Athletes are grouped under classes T40 (track events) and F40 (field events).
The maximum height of 145cm is required for male athletes and 140cm for female athletes.
The Paralympics will end on Sept.18. (NAN)
(Edited and Controlled by Peter Ejiofor)