Dubai 2023: D’Andrea, Almaruf smash records to win 1st Worlds titles

DUBAI: Records fell several times on the fourth day of elite championships as Brazil’s Mariana D’ Andrea and Nigeria’s Kafila Almaruf won their first World Championships titles at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor city here.

D’ Andrea, the Tokyo 2020 champion in women’s – 73 kg, first with a list of 146 kg and then 151 kg to win the women’s up to 79 kg gold ahead of Paralympic and defending champion Bose Omolayo who settled for the silver despite breaking the world record with her best lift of 150 kg.

“It was an intense competition; but I was confident to do well and ready for it,” admitted D’ Andrea who bowed the mat and kissed the bench after her successful lifts.

“I am very happy. It was a dream come true for me to win the World Championships title after the Paralympic gold in Tokyo.”

Brazil’s Mariana D’ Andrea reacts after a successful lift at the Dubai 2023 World Para Powerlifting Championships.

The third place was claimed by China’s Asian Para Games champion Han Miaoyu with a third successful lift of 140 kg for her second Worlds bronze medal in a row.

First gold for Nigeria

If D’Adrea was remarkable in the evening session, Nigeria’s Kafila Almaruf stole the limelight in the morning.

Almaruf went on to break a long-standing world record of France’s Souhad Ghazouani – 150 kg set in 2013- with a successful lift of 151 kg and clinched the gold in women’s – 73 kg. Ghazouni took the bronze with 131 kg.

“I am very excited and grateful to my Almighty that I could do it today. I am ready for Paris 2024 Paralympics now,” said Almaruf, the former bronze medallist.

Defending champions from China Xu Lili settled with the silver with 134 kg.

Zhou surprises Paralympic stars

However, Xu’s compatriot Yi Zhou produced a powerful show to finish ahead of Paralympic and world champions in men’s under 65 kg.

Zhou finished with 215 kg to take the gold ahead of favourites Amir Jafari (202 kg) of Iran and Algeria’s Hocine Bettir (198 kg).

At the medals table, China stayed on top with 15 medals that included nine gold, two silver and four bronze followed by Great Britain and Malaysia with three and two golds, respectively. The Dubai 2023 Para Powerlifting World Championships, held the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination,  are streamed live on World Para Powerlifting Facebook channel and Paralympics YouTube channel. 

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