Yakubu Adesokan has won Nigeria’s first gold medal at the on-going Paralympic Games in London. The 33 year-old came into London 2012 as the favourite for glory in the men’s -48kg class, having claimed a world record earlier this year in Dubai with a lift of 177kg. Adesokan lived up to his reputation this afternoon as he broke countryman Ruel Ishaku’s Paralympic record of 169kg from Beijing 2008 by three kilos in his first lift.
The Ibadan-born athlete did not stop there as, roared on by the crowd, he broke his own world record with a lift of 178kg in just his second attempt. That record only lasted a matter of minutes, though, as Adesokan went on to lift 180kg – almost four times his own bodyweight – to take gold in style. ‘I feel overjoyed,’ he said. ‘I went through a lot of training. I have been training for two months in Korea. ‘Once I went through that training, there was no way I was going to fail. ‘I can definitely lift more. It is a lot but what I usually lift in training is more than this, like 192kg.’
Adesokan was joined on the podium by Russia’s Vladimir Balynetc, who won silver with a lift of 170kg, while Taha Abdelmagid of Egypt took bronze with 165kg.