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Togo’s lone Paralympian misses on first lift at Rio Games

Flag of Togo Flag of Togo
Aliou Bawa.  Image credit: Laura Hale

Aliou Bawa. Image credit: Laura Hale

Togo's lifter makes his first attempt.  Image credit: Laura Hale

Togo’s lifter makes his first attempt. Image credit: Laura Hale

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.

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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.

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees.

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