Indonesia’s Paralympic medallist Ni Nengah Widiasih is excited and anxious. Having won the bronze at the recently concluded Dubai 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup, Widiasih believes that the competition was a perfect test ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“It feels nice to be back here after almost two years. I am happy that I could perform up to my expectation and make it to podium. The bronze was very important in terms of my confidence and my world ranking. Hopefully, I can do my best in Tokyo,” says Widiasih, whose bronze medal performance came with a lift of 97kg in Dubai.
She asserts that the next two months will be crucial and she will use it to “train harder with a lot of focus and discipline.”
“Self-belief will also play an important role in succeeding in Tokyo,” says Widiasih, adding that, her main rival will be world champion Guo Lingling of China.
As the COVID-19 pandemic situation has made training much more challenging, Widiasih explains that she was experiencing a lot of anxiety in the run-up to the Games.
“Competing at Dubai was a huge challenge and to achieve the target (podium finish) and return home safely was relieving. Now like everyone, I’m hoping to carry this form and do well in Tokyo. My target is not just a medal but bettering my medal colour and performance than Rio 2016,” says the confident 28-year-old, who had settled for a bronze in Rio.
‘FELT LIKE A NEWCOMER’
Widiasih, who competes in women’s - 41kg and is the poster girl of Para powerlifting in her country, also put up a golden show at the Bangkok 2021 World Cup in May.
“Competing and winning the gold in Bangkok was a big confidence booster. I was competing after almost two years [since the Nur Sultan 2019 World Championships], so was a little nervous ahead of the event. I felt like a newcomer at the championships. Thus, taking the gold was special,” said Widiasih, who has had her best lift (97kg) in her silver-winning performance at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games.
Speaking on her training, Widiasih said she was feeling stronger and fitter after months of strenuous training in Solo since October 2020.
“We have been training very hard at the camp in Solo since last October. Training wise, its more or less same as I did before Rio. The focus is on power and technique. But this time, the Games environment will be different and more challenging owing to COVID-19 and we have to prepare for that also. We would need to be extra careful and cautious for ourself and others.”