Nigeria's Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike was the great star of the opening day of the Paralympic power lifting competition as she broke world and Paralympic records in every of her attempts in the women's 44kg category.
In her third and final attempts, she smashed the world record by lifting 127.5kg, 17.5kg more than the old record of 110 kg held by Egyptian Fatma Omar.
The 27-year-old Ejike won the gold medal by lifting 32.5kg more than Egyptian Gihan Baioumy EL-Aziz, who was placed second and 40kg more than Chinese Xiao Cuijuan, who won the bronze.
Another world record was broken in the women's 40kg class. Lidiya Solovyova of Ukraine broke the record twice, as she lifted 103kg in her third attempt and 105kg in the fourth. The previous record of 102.5kg was held by China's Bian Jianxin since 2000.
Nigeria's Ijeoma John won the silver medal with 97.5kg, while Mexico's Laura Gabriel Cerero was third with 85kg, after the disqualification of Li Hua-Lu of Chinese Taipei, for failing to stretch her arm enough.
Morteza Dashti of Iran won the first gold of the sport at the Athens Paralympic Games. The 24-year-old Iranian champion lifted 167.5kg and dominated the men's 48kg category.
Dashti failed to break the world record with a weight of 169.5kg in a fourth attempt.
Thongsa Marasri of Thailand won the silver medal with 165kg, while Nigeria's Ruel Ishaku placed third with 157.5kg. Ishaku lifted the same weight as Chinese Chen Shanming, but Ishaku defeated him on bodyweight difference.
Anthony Peddle of Britain, champion in Sydney and holder of world record of 168kg, had three no-lifts in 157.5kg and did not finish.
(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2004)