Golden moment for Nigeria as Paralympian Adesokan hit gold medal in London

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Yakubu Adesokan : Won pride for the nation

Nigeria has won its first gold medal at the London Paralympics Games making fresh history as a paralympic achiever.

It was earned by Yakubu Adesokan in powerlifting in the men’s 48kg class.

Adesokan on Thursday evening  put the nation on glory note  winning gold medal in the ongoing London 2012 Paralympic Games in a weightlifting category, smashing the world record in the process.

He lifted 178kg, threefold his body weight, in the men’s 48kg category to claim the ultimate prize.

Asides from breaking the world record, 33-year-old Adesokan’s feat is the first gold by an African country at the two-day-old tournament, which ends on 9th September after the proper Olympics ended in disgraceful failure as not even a bronze medal was won by the team Nigeria.

Russia’s Vladimir Balynetc won silver and Egypt’s Taha Abdelmagid won the bronze.

British cyclist Sarah Storey stormed to her eighth Paralympic gold, taking the women’s C5 individual 3km pursuit after a lightning-quick qualifying time that would have won her a non-disabled title.

The 34-year-old rider’s winning performance, which opened the hosts’ gold account, came on a day of new world bests in the Velodrome and in swimming, as China took the first gold of the Games in the first day of competition.

Storey, who won five Paralympic swimming golds before switching to the bike in 2008 and winning two more in Beijing four years ago, lapped Poland’s Anna Harkowska with just under half of the 12-lap race to go.

The British cyclist earlier clocked a new world best of 3min 32.170sec, which would have won her silver at the World Championships earlier this year and the UCI Track Cycling World Cup at the same venue in February.

That World Cup race, a test event for the Olympic Velodrome, was won by her British compatriot Joanna Rowsell in 3min 32.364sec. Rowsell took Olympic gold earlier this month in the team pursuit.

Storey, who was born without a functioning left hand, said afterwards: “I always thought that if I could get off to a great start it would set up the week and hopefully that’s the case.

“To get the gold medal is a dream come true.”

Fiona Southorn of New Zealand took bronze after beating Britain’s Crystal Lane.

In the women’s C1-2-3 pursuit medal ceremony China’s Zeng Sini broke the world best in qualifying and beat Australia’s Simone Kennedy to take gold. Allison Jones of the United States won bronze.

In the equivalent men’s race, China’s Li Zhang Yu was too strong for Britain’s Mark Lee Colbourne, while Germany’s Tobias Graf finished in third place.

Susan Powell, who also lowered the world record in the women’s C4 3km individual pursuit qualifiers, won Australia’s first gold of the Games, beating Megan Fisher of the United States.

Alexandra Green, also of Australia, took bronze.

Australia was also guaranteed the top two spots in the men’s blind and visually impaired 4km tandem pursuit, with Kieran Modra and Scott McPhee up against compatriots Bryce Lindores and Sean Finning.

Defending champion Modra, piloted by McPhee took the race, lowering his previous best to 4min 17.756 secs. Spain’s Miguel Angel Clemente Solano, riding with guide Diego Javier Munoz took bronze.

London Paralympics 2012

In the pool, where 15 finals were taking place on Thursday evening, Britain’s Jonathan Fox signalled his intent to upgrade his 100m backstroke S7 Paralympic silver, lowering his own previous world best by 0:59sec to 1min 9.86sec.

US swimmer Lantz Lamback, the defending champion from Beijing, failed to qualify after finishing 10th quickest overall.

New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe meanwhile set a new world best of 2min 28.73sec in the women’s 200m individual medley.

The end of a morning of swimming heats coincided with the final of the women’s R2 10m air rifle at the Royal Artillery Barracks, which saw China’s Zhang Cuiping win the Games’ first gold, scoring 104.9 for an overall score of 500.9.

A total of 28 medals were up for grabs on Thursday: 15 in the pool, five at the Velodrome in track cycling; four in judo; two in powerlifting; and two in shooting.

Park Seakyun took gold in the men’s 10m air pistol.

The day’s programme also includes heats in archery, equestrian, goalball, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

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