The Paralympics Games are here. Athletes from all over the world have now converged on Rio for the start of the 2016 edition of the games which will once again demonstrate the resilience, tenacity and brilliance of these
disabled athletes. World records will be broken; physical limits will be pushed; but above all, these athletes will get their moment in front of the bright lights to showcase their talent and hard work since the last edition held in London.
We take a look at five African athletes to look out for at the Rio Paralympic games.
The Egyptian power lifter is a beast. He is the current Paralympic champion in the up to 97kg category. He also holds the world record with a 243kg lift which he set in 2015.
El Dib will again be facing off with Nigeria’s Abdulazeez Ibrahim and will want to restore his dominance having lost out to Ibrahim in the 2014 world championships.
Power lifting is by far Nigeria’s best sport at the Paralympics, earning the team a total of 39 medals, including 15 gold medals. The Nigerian power lifting contingent at Rio will include hot favourites Abdulazeez Ibrahim in the men’s up to 97kg category. The women are not left out, as Bose Omolayo will be going in the women’s up to 79kg category as the world record holder.
Loveline Obiji will also be looking to defend her 82.5kg gold medal from London. All in all, Nigeria’s power lifters will all be gunning for gold. Look out for them.
The triple gold medallist from the Beijing 2008 tournament has promised to break two world records in Rio, ably supported by a strong line up by Kenya in the long distance track event.
Having recorded a solitary bronze medal in the 1500m race in London, Kirwa is looking to restore his dominance as he will be competing in the 1500, 5000 and 10000m races.
The only athlete to have won medals for Angola at the Paralympic games. José Sayovo has won eight in total since Athens 2004 games including four gold medals.
He will be back in Rio to try and add to his tally as he competes in the 100m, 200m and 400m T-11 track games.
Impressively the cyclist will be back for his seventh Paralympics having first competed at Barcelona 92 aged 17. The nine-time Boston Marathon winner will be looking to go one better in 2016 and earn gold.
Back in Barcelona 92, van Dyk competed in the swimming event but changed course to compete in track after reaching the wheelchair semi-finals.
Good luck to all the athletes, we look forward to celebrating your triumphs.