Dubai 2023: Record breaking performances highlight Day 2

The second day of the Elite competitions at the Dubai 2023 World Para Powerlifting Championships saw record-breaking performances from Paralympic stars China’s Guo Lingling and Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin at the Hilton Dubai – Al Habtoor city.

Tokyo 2020 champions Guo Lingling of China and Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin yet again showed why they are among the strongest powerlifters in the world as they bettered their own world worlds enroute winning gold medals in their respective events.

Lingling, the reigning Asian Para Games champion and three-time world champion at Mexico 2017, Nursultan 2019 and Tbilisi 2021, bettered her own world record twice – which she had set in Nursultan 2019 at 118 kg – with her final list of 120 kg to take the gold in women’s up to 41 kg.

“I am very happy and proud to break the world record and take the gold in Dubai. I have trained hard for this,” said Lingling who was followed by Tokyo 2020 medallist Clara Fuentes Monasterio of Venezuela (105 kg) and Turkey’s Nazmiye Muratli (104 kg).

However, Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Indonesian Ni Nengah Widiasih (98 kg) ended fifth.

Before the Chinese record-breaking show Gustin started the day with an amazing display of power and grit. The Malaysian bettered his own world record set in Dubai 2021 World Cup at 230 kg, as he successfully lifted one kilogram above to set the new mark of 231 kg in men’s up to 72 kg.

“I like it here in Dubai and today I am very happy to get my second world record here. It’s a motivation to work hard and come up with improved performance. I look to improve every time and that helps me chasing my dreams.”

“My next target is to break the world record in Asian Para Games.”

Later, Lingling’s compatriot Xuemei Deng joined her on the top of the podium with a gold medal in women’s over 86 kg. Deng finished with 150 kg in her second attempt, six kgs above Egypt’s Ali Nadia (144 kg) and Poland’s Zeba Marzena (137 kg).

Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin gestures after a successful lift in Dubai.

This was Deng’s third medal in Dubai, and she said: “I like it here in Dubai as it is my third medal and first World Championships gold here. My next goal to to break the world record in Paris 2024 Paralympics”.

After two days of Elite competitions, China led the medals table with seven medals including five gold, one silver and a bronze followed by Great Britain and Malaysia with two gold each.

The Dubai 2023 Worlds, held under 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, have participation of 555 powerlifters from 80 countries vying for glory at the Hilton Al Habtoor City Hotel.

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