China causes upset to take two golds on day two

Qi Yongkai beats powerlifting legend Sherif Osman in men’s up to 59kg and Hu Dandan wins the women's up to 50kg at the Tokyo International Forum 27 Aug 2021
Three men showing their medals on a stage
The men's up to 59kg medallists at Tokyo 2020: Sherif Osman (silver), Qi Yongkai (gold) and Herbert Aceituno (bronze)
ⒸHiroki Nishioka for World Para Powerlifting
By World Para Powerlifting

China beat Egypt twice to claim two gold medals in the opening categories on the second day of Para powerlifting competitions at Tokyo 2020 in the Tokyo International Forum on Friday (27 August).

Qi Yongkai caused an upset in the men’s up to 59kg denying Para powerlifting legend Sherif Osman a fourth Paralympic gold. Both lifted 187kg in their third attempt but the Chinese took gold due to a lower body weight.

Herbert Aceituno gave El Salvador its first ever medal in Paralympic or Olympic Games taking bronze (184kg), 1kg ahead of fourth place Juan Carlos Garrido from Chile.

“I feel very extremely happy because my goal was to win a medal. I wasn’t sure I would be able to win a medal in my first Paralympics, but I tried very hard, and I’m very happy about the accomplishment today,” Yongkai said.

The podium ceremony was a very emotional as silver medallist Osman did not hold back his tears. 

“I was crying because I had the big dream to get six gold medals, but now it’s cut. But I will not stop. It’s not over,” he said. “We have the world championships in three months in Georgia. There, I will be back on top.”

Second gold for Dandan

The women’s up to 50kg was also decided in the body weight difference with Hu Dandan taking her second Paralympic gold with a 120-lift in her third attempt. 

Egypt’s Rehab Ahmed, the reigning world champion, had to settle again for Paralympic silver seeing Dandan equal her Paralympic record lift of 120kg.

Great Britain’s Olivia Broome finished with the bronze medal in her Games debut lifting 107kg in her second attempt. 

“It was my third time competing against Rehab Ahmed and this time she tried to do very heavy weights right at the beginning, but I was able to continue increasing my weight and win gold. I’m very happy about the result,” Dandan said.

It was China’s third Para powerlifting gold medal in Tokyo and the new Paralympic champion says there is more to come.

“The Chinese team will be even better. It’s not just two gold medals [on Friday]. There will be more.”

Day two continues with the women’s up to 55kg and the men’s up to 65kg finals.