Togo’s lone Paralympian Aliou Bawa missed on his first attempt at the men’s 49kg powerlifting event at the Rio Games. He attempted to lift 113kg, the lightest first weight attempt by any of the Paralympians in his class. He has three more attempts left.
Bawa’s participation is notable not only because he is his country’s sole representative, but also because he is his country’s first Paralympic competitor in the history of the Paralympic Games. At home, he is referred to Adebayor. The nickname refers to Emmanuel Adebayor, Togo’s greatest sportsperson who played professional football for Arsenal and Tottenham in England. Bawa is quoted in an IPC press release as saying, “I love football and I would play if that was an option. But I really found myself in powerlifting. Hopefully, I will be as good in powerlifting as Adebayor playing soccer.”
Outside of sport, 32-year-old Bawa is a hairdresser. He has a disability as a result of contracting polio as an infant. In the past, he played wheelchair basketball.