Paralympic Games
7-18 September

Five countries who won historic golds at Rio 2016

Rio 2016 saw Kazakhstan, Georgia, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and Vietnam topping the Paralympic podium for the first time ever. 29 Sep 2016
Gold medalist Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli of Malaysia celebrate on the podium

Gold medalist Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli of Malaysia celebrate on the podium

ⒸAlexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

As China topped the medals table for a fourth successive Paralympic Games, followed by Great Britain, Ukraine, USA and Australia to complete the top five, there were five countries who won their first Paralympic gold ever at Rio 2016.

One of them was Kazakhstan, who claimed a swimming title in the women´s 100m freestyle S3 through Zulfiya Gabidullina, the Asian country´s first Paralympic medal in history.

Georgia climbed onto the podium for the first time at their third Paralympic appearance, in Rio, thanks to judoka Zviad Gogotchuri in the men´s up to 90kg category after beating Ukraine´s world No.1 Oleksandr Nazarenko.

Powerlifter Van Cong Le broke Vietnam´s Paralympic gold medal drought, in the men´s up to 49kg. Compatriot Thanh Tung Vo added silver in swimming, and powerlifter Thi Linh Phuong Dang and track and field athlete Ngoc Hung Cao took one bronze each.

Malaysia will forever remember 10 September 2016 as the day they claimed their two first gold medals with just 60 minutes separating each. Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi´s title in the men’s 100m T36 was followed by Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli´s in the men’s shot put F20. Abdul Latif Romly added a third gold in the men’s long jump T20 on 11 September.

Judoka Sharif Khalilov was Uzbekistan´s only Paralympic medallist until this year, when the Asian country left Rio with eight golds, six silvers and 17 bronzes more. Sherzod Namozov (-60kg), Utkirjon Nigmatov (-66kg) and Adiljan Tuledibaev (-100kg) were the three judo male champions.

Three more golds came from athletics thanks to Khusniddin Norbekov (men´s discus throw F37), Aleksandr Svechnikov (men´s javelin throw F12/13) and Nozimakhon Kayumova (women´s javelin throw F12/13).

Uzbekistan´s remaining two Paralympic champions were swimmers Firdavsbek Musabekov (men´s 100m breaststroke SB13) and Fotimakhon Amilova (women´s 100m breaststroke SB13).

Cape Verde, Mozambique, Qatar and Uganda sealed their first medals in history, bringing the total countries who won at least one medal in Rio to 83, the most ever at a Paralympic Games.