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OLYMPICS 0-6 PARALYMPICS : Paralympians Saving Team Nigeria Since 1992

After the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, attention has now shifted to the Rio Paralympics. Team Nigeria are vying for honours with other athletes from different countries.

Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at how Nigerian Paralympians have fared at previous Games compared to the country’s showings at the Olympics…

-1992 BARCELONA OLYMPICS vs 1992 PARALYMPICS

Team Nigeria bounced back from the disappointment of the Seoul 1988 Olympics where they didn’t win any medal by claiming four medals at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.

The contingent came back with three silver and one bronze to finish 38th in the overall medal standings.

David Izonritei and Richard Igbineghu both won silver in boxing, the men’s 4×100 relay team also won silver, while the women’s 4×100 relay team won bronze.

Meanwhile, Nigeria made its Paralympics debut in Barcelona and won three gold medals to finish 35th in the medal table.

Adeoye Ajibola won two gold in sprint and Monday Emoghawve also won gold in power-lifting.

So, in 1992, Nigerian Paralympians trumped their Olympians.

VERDICT: Paralympians did better.

-1996 ATLANTA OLYMPICS vs 1996 PARALYMPICS

Till date the Atlanta 1996 Olympics remains Team Nigeria’s most successful outing at the games after winning two gold medals.

The team also won one silver and three bronze.

The country’s first-ever gold medal was won by Chioma Ajunwa in long jump. While the U-23 team also made history by winning gold in the men’s football event.

The women’s 4×400 metres athletics relay team won the only silver before the trio of Mary Onyali (200m) Falilat Ogunkoya Omotayo (400m) and Duncan Dokiwari (boxing) added three bronze medals to secure the 32nd position in the final medal table.

However, the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics Team Nigeria did even better than the Olympians, winning three gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

VERDICT: Paralympians on top again.

-2000 SYDNEY OLYMPICS vs 2000 PARALYMPICS

At the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Team Nigeria could not match the feat of the Atlanta games as they won one gold and two silver medals.

The men’s 4×100 relay team claimed gold (originally they won silver but the United States team were stripped of the gold for drug offences by one of the relay members) and Ruth Ogbeifo (weightlifting) won silver to place the country 41st in the medal table.

In the Paralympics that followed, Team Nigeria had their most successful outing, winning seven gold, one silver and five bronze medals.

The feat saw them finish 22nd in the final medal table.

VERDICT: Paralympians keep winning.

-2004 ATHENS OLYMPICS vs 2004 PARALYMPICS

The performance of Team Nigeria at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was a far cry from what they achieved in Sydney 2000.

Team Nigeria could only pick up two bronze medals thanks to the men’s 4×100 and 4×400 track and field relay teams.

At the end of the games, Team Nigeria occupied the 68th position.

Unlike their Olympics counterparts, Nigeria’ s Paralympics team returned home with 12 medals which comprised five gold, four silver and three bronze to finish 28th in the overall medal table.

VERDICT: Paralympians thrash Olympians.

-2008 BEIJING OLYMPICS vs 2008 PARALYMPICS

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was an improvement from the 2004 edition in Athens.

Two silver medals from the men’s football team and the women’s 4×100 relay team, and two bronze medals by Blessing Okagbare (long jump) and Chika Chukwumerije (taekwondo) were won by Team Nigeria.

At the end of proceedings, Team Nigeria finished 58th in the medal table.

For the Paralympians, they came back with four gold, four silver and one bronze and were placed 30th in the medal table.

VERDICT: Paralympians on top AGAIN.

-2012 LONDON OLYMPICS vs 2012 PARALYMPICS

For the first time since Seoul 1988, Team Nigeria failed to pick a single medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

But the Paralympains saved the country’s blushes by claiming six gold, five silver and two bronze medals.

Their performance at the London 2012 Paralympics saw them finish 22nd.

VERDICT: Champions Paralympians!

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