Egyptian Sherif Osman keeps 'six Paralympic golds' dream alive despite Tokyo silver

The three-time powerlifting Paralympic champion makes comeback from injury but falls short of winning gold 27 Aug 2021
Egyptian powerlifter Sherif Osman looks upwards
Egyptian icon Sherif Osman took Paralympic silver in Tokyo
ⒸHiroki Nishioka for World Para Powerlifting

Sherif Osman has always had a taste for victory, having won Paralympic gold at every Games since his debut at Beijing 2008.

But the Egyptian Para powerlifting legend shockingly lost the men's up to 59kg throne to Chinese 22-year-old star Qi Yongkai at Tokyo 2020. Both lifted 187kg, but the latter took top honours due to a lower body weight.

Five years ago in Rio, Osman had set a new world record of 211kg in the category.

It was surprising to see him on the second step of the podium in Tokyo, shedding some tears still in disbelief. But the Paralympic icon could see the positive side to it.

"I really appreciate this silver medal because I suffered a muscle rupture earlier this year and only had permission from the doctor to restart training a month before travelling to Japan," said Osman.

"It is very difficult and a big challenge to compete when weeks before you were recovering from an injury, when you were supposed to be training hard. I came, I competed, I fought hard. That is why this medal is so special and gives me strength to try again to win gold at Paris 2024."

Ⓒ Hiroki Nishioka for World Para Powerlifting

Osman stated several times that his big dream was winning "six gold medals at the Paralympic Games." He admitted: "I was crying on the podium because I really wanted to win that gold."

However, the 38-year-old remains optimistic about accomplishing his lifelong dream. "I never look down but always try to improve and go further.

"My dream of winning six Paralympic gold medals remains alive. I am halfway through; this silver means now I will have to continue competing until Brisbane 2032. So be it."