China finish on top as 2021 World Cup season ends in Dubai

Chinese powerlifters dominate penultimate day with Chile taking Mixed Team gold in the final stop before Tokyo 2020 Paralympics 25 Jun 2021
A female powerlifter making a lift observed by a group of people during a competition
Deng Xuemei was responsible for one of the seven gold medals taken by China during the Dubai 2021 World Cup
ⒸFazza LOC Media
By World Para Powerlifting

World Championships medallists Yan Panpan and Deng Xuemei continued China’s domination on the penultimate day as Chinese powerlifters finished on top at the Dubai 2021 World Cup which ended on Thursday (25 June) in UAE.

After six days of exciting contest of power and courage, China emerged the best team with seven gold, two silver and one bronze in the medals’ standings followed by Russia with three gold, three silver and four bronze, and Egypt with three gold and three silver medals.

Wednesday began with the heavyweight events with Panpan emerging the winner in the men’s up to 97kg event. The Nur Sultan 2019 silver medallist had successful lifts in each of his attempts, with 231 kg being the best.

Colombia’s 2018 Americas champion Fabio Torres managed a 226kg-lift in his second attempt for the silver ahead of Iraq’s Thaer Al-Ali who finished with 216kg.

China’s seventh gold at Dubai 2021 came through reigning world champion Deng Xuemei in the women's over 86 kg, with a successful lift of 157kg. In doing so, she also bettered her own Asian record of 151kg set at the Nur-Sultan 2019 Worlds.

Russia’s Irina Sadovnikova finished far behind on 138kg for the silver, while Perla Barcenas of Mexico took the bronze clearing the bar at 135kg.

Amalia the champion

Five-time Paralympic champion Amalia Perez lived up to her billing clinching the women’s up to 61kg gold, in the only individual event of the final day.

Perez took the top honour with a successful 126kg lift in her second attempt, as Egypt’s Fatima Korany cleared the bar at 117kg for the silver. Ukraine’s Rayisa Toporkova settled for the bronze with 115kg.

“I am very happy with the way I performed here. The competition was very tough with everyone fighting to go to Tokyo 2020,” Perez said. “Since the Covid pandemic, many things have changed including our training and the competition. So, this was an important competition to analyse our game before going to Tokyo.”

The 43-year-old from Mexico City now will be in search of her fourth Paralympic gold in Japan.

First gold for Greece

Dimou Konstantinos’ powerful show earned Greece its first gold at Dubai 2021 in the men’s over 107kg category.

Konstantinos, the former European champion, topped with a lift of 224kg while Azerbaijan’s Shamo Aslanov managed a 223kg lift after two unsuccessful attempts for the silver.

The bronze was claimed by Iraq’s Worlds bronze medallist Faris Al-Ageeli on 215 kg.

“It was an important event and I am happy with my performance considering that I was competing after a long time. Last year was very difficult owing to Covid 19 and we had a lot of difficulty in training. So, it’s nice to finally compete and get a desirable result here. The gold definitely boosted my confidence,” said Konstantinos.

“Tokyo 2020 will be tough with a lot of medal contenders in my category. I hope to do my best there,” added the Greek powerlifter.

Chile take Mixed Team victory

Meanwhile, Russia’s Konstantin Matsnev clinched a thriller in the men’s up to 107kg event, lifting 240kg for the gold.

Malaysia’s Yee Khie Jong just close on the heels of the winner on 239kg and Jordan’s Mutaz Z. D. Aljuneidi settled for the bronze with 217kg.

Matsnev, however, missed the chance of bettering the world record of Mongolia’s Sodnompiljee Enkhbayar (247kg) from Nur-Sultan 2019. The Russian faltered in his fourth attempt for 248kg.

Chile bagged the Mixed Team gold defeating hosts UAE in the final. Colombia settled for the bronze in the competition, which was contested by eight teams.

Around 250 Para powerlifters from 54 nations vied for glory at the Dubai 2021 event which was the last chance to improve their world rankings to get a slot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

The Para powerlifting events at this year’s Paralympics will take place from 26 to 30 August at the Tokyo International Forum.