Dubai 2022: Khattab shatters world record as Asian lifters dominate

Jordan’s Abdelkareem Khattab smashed the world record three times en route clinching the gold medal in the men’s up to 97 kg weight category as Asian players displayed strong showing at the Fazza 12th Dubai 2022 Para Powerlifting World Cup.

Khattab’s incredible show was the highlight of the Dubai 2022 World Cup which concluded at the Dubai Club for People of Determination venue on Sunday (18 December).

Khattab, the Paralympic and reigning world champion, looked confident and started his campaign at 235 kg before going for world record attempt at 245 kg, only to achieve it comfortably. He went six kilograms up in the third round, breaking the world record again lifting 251 kg and then at 255 kg to display a phenomenal showing of powerlifting in Dubai.

The Jordan star, who has the world record in men’s up to 88 kg to his name at 250 kg, broke the men’s -97kg record held by Mohamed Eldib of Egypt since 2016.

“I have been training for the last 10 years to get this result. It’s my first world record in this age category and I am very proud of it. I hope I can continue with such performance in the World Championships and Paralympics and put my country on top,” said Khattab, who already indicated of bettering his record at the World Championships set to be held in Dubai next August.

Columbia’s Fabio Torres took the silver at 225 kg, while UAE’s Mohammed Khamis Khalaf settled for the bronze with his best lift of 220 kg. “I am happy with the result. I have reached my target for the year. I will be back stronger next year,” said Khalaf hoping to be stronger at the Worlds.

Jordan finish 3rd behind Iran

Before Khattab’s extraordinary performance, his fellow lifter and Tokyo 2020 champion Omar Qarada had put Jordan on top of podium in the men’s up to 49 kg event.

Qarada lifted 176 kg in the second round to take the gold ahead of India’s Parmjeet Kumar (165 kg) and Hungary’s Nandor Tunkel (159 kg).

The Jordanian duo later, along with Asma Issa, who is wife of Qarada, combined to take the mixed team gold medal beating Colombia on Sunday.

Jordan finished with eight medals including four gold for the third place in the medals table behind Brazil (12) and Iran (7) who ended with six and five gold medals, respectively.The hosts UAE finished in 11th position with five medals including one silver.

Overall, four Asian nations finished in top-10 of the medals table.

Iran dominate in heavyweight events

Meanwhile, Iran powerlifters dominated in heavyweight events with Aliakbar Gharibshahi setting a new world record en route winning the gold medal in men’s up to 107 kg event.

Gharibshahi lifted 254kg in his final lift to better his own record by one kg. In the effort, he also shocked Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Sodnompiljee Enkhbayar from Mongolia who managed 250kg.

Gharibshahi’s fellow lifters Ahmad Aminzadeh (265 kg) and Mahdi Sayadi (238 kg) claimed the one-two position in the men’s over 107 kg.    

Earlier, Tokyo 2020 champion Roohallah Rostami clinched the men’s up to 80 kg title with his final lift of 218 kg, which was one kg more than his teammate Rasool Mohsin. Other winners for Iran were – Mohsen Bakhtiar (men’s -59 kg) and Amir Jafari Arangeh (men’s -65 kg)

“We are satisfied with our men lifters’ performance here. The Dubai 2022 World Cup was a good opportunity for our players to be familiar with the opponents and shine on international stage. We hope we can break more records when we return here for the World Championships,” said Iran coach Ahmad Mollahosseini hoping to have women lifters in the Iran’s team for the Worlds. 

Other winners

Among other names, Kyrgyzstan’s Azizbek Zamirbek Uluu ended ninth in the Elite event of men’s up to 54kg but took the gold in Next Gen category with a world record, thanks to his final round effort of 128 kg.

Kazakhstan had one gold medal thanks to the effort of David Degtyarev who lifted 175 kg to finish on top in men’s up to 54 kg, while Tharwh Tayseer Hamdan Alhajaj was the only Asian to take a gold in the women’s events.

Alhajaj lifted 134 kg in her final round to take the gold medals and set a new Legends World Record.

The Dubai 2022 World Cup, which offered important ranking in the qualification pathway to the Paris 2022 Paralympics, also witnessed several other regional and world records in Legends, Rookie categories making it 34 records altogether.

As many as 170 lifters from 34 nations competed in the final World Para Powerlifting World Cup of the season with Paralympic and World stars in the star-studded line-up in the four-day competition. Results of the Dubai 2022 World Cup are available here.

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