Power-packed performances kick off Dubai 2023 World C’ships

The Dubai 2023 Para Powerlifting World Championships kicked off with power-packed performances from familiar names including Jordan’s Paralympic champion Omar Qarada at the Hilton Dubai – Al Habtoor City here on Wednesday.

Qarada, the two-time World champion, settled for a silver after finishing second to Vietnam’s Le Van Cong who emerged victorious with a final lift of 176kg.

Qarada settled for the silver with his second successful lift of 175kg.

Omar Qarada

For Van Cong, it was return to the top of World Championships after six years since his gold at the Mexico 2017 Worlds. “This is a special win as it has come after a long time. After my injury in 2018, I have trained and pushed myself very hard. This gold is a big motivation going ahead as we look to qualify for the Paralympics,” the Vietnamese Asian Para Games champion said.

Later, China’s three-time World champion Cui Zhe displayed a lot of courage to set a new Asian record lifting 112 kg en route taking the gold medal in the women’s up to 41kg.

Zhe later said: “I am very happy to get the happy. It was my goal coming here and I will work more to get better result in the next competition. In Hangzhou I will be competing in up to 45kg and hope to make a new world record.”

On Tuesday, juniors displayed amazing grit and strength to emerge winners with Uzbekistan ending on top with four gold medals.

A total of 58 junior powerlifters were in action at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City at the Rookie & Next Gen Worlds on Tuesday (22 August) highlighted by several regional records, indicating that the young stars are ready for transition.

China’s Cui Zhe in action at the Dubai 2023 World Championships.

Historic day for India

Indian junior powerlifters Honey Dabas and Rahul Jograjiya made it a historic day for India clinching the gold and silver medals in men’s up to 72kg.

Dabas claimed the nation’s first ever gold with lifts of 132 kg and then 135 kg. His compatriot Jograjiya followed with a lift of 132kg for the silver in the fiercely contested -72 kg junior weight category.

There were other new champions also in the junior category, as Saudi Arabia’s Adnan Noorsaeed, the Asian Youth Para Games champion, won the first international gold in the men’s up to 49kg category.

Noorsaeed, who started with a successful lift of 147 kg, finished with a 152 kg in his final lift. The Saudi powerlifter finished 22 kg ahead of the second placed Hady Sawamil Mashrafy (130 kg) from Egypt.

“I have been waiting for this gold medal. It’s a big day for me today. I hope I can work harder and achieve my dreams,” said the 20-year-old who has a bronze from the Tbilisi 2023 World Cup. More than 500 powerlifters from 80 nations are taking part in the World Championships held in the Emirate of Dubai for the time.

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