Athletes from Ukraine and Jordan closed the first World Para Powerlifting World Cup of 2017 in style on Friday (3 March), winning two golds each for their countries in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Ukraine’s European Open silver medallist Anton Kriukov made an exceptional debut in the men’s up to 107kg, claiming the win and a new personal best.
Clearing all three lifts Kriukov, the European record holder in the men’s up to 97kg, reached 230kg.
Malaysia’s Yee Khie Jong (207kg) faced a close competition with Kyrgyzstan’s Zhyrgalbek Orosbaev for silver. The Kyrgyzstani powerlifter tried to match his opponent’s lift but had to settle for bronze with his second round attempt of 205kg.
Like Kriukov, Jong has made an immediate impact having moved up from the up to 97kg for the new season.
Ukraine claimed another win courtesy of Liyubov Semenyuk, who lifted 100kg in the women’s up to 79kg.
Jordan’s Paralympic silver medallist Tharwh Tayseer Hamdan Alhajaj needed just one good lift of 115kg to grab victory in the women’s up to 86kg. It was her first World Cup win after finishing second in both 2015 and 2016.
Australian debutant Christine Ashcroft (60kg) overcame more experienced Malaysian Noormyra Azni Rosli (45kg) for silver. Rosli, who began powerlifting in 2015, took bronze.
Alhajaj’s teammate Jamil Elshebli, a World Championships shot put podium finisher and Paralympic powerlifting bronze medallist, triumphed in the men’s over 107kg.
He secured the win with his opening lift of 225kg, following on from bronze medals at the last two editions.
Iraq’s Hazar Ahmed left it until the last opportunity to put in his silver medal winning performance, failing at two attempts on 205kg. Regrouping for the third round, Ahmed lifted 207kg.
Mykhailo Melynkov (205kg) rounded off the podium, and a great day for Ukraine, with third place.
The Netherlands’ Paralympic bronze medallist Melaica Tuinfort showed why she is still one to watch in the women’s over 86kg.
The Dutch lifter’s aim for 2017 is to try and improve on her 130kg personal best from Rio.
She gave it her best shot, however it was her second round lift of 127kg that saw her take gold after an unsuccessful attempt on 131kg.
Malaysia’s Norfariza Mortadza was second, securing silver with 80kg.
The next World Para Powerlifting World Cup takes place in Eger, Hungary, from 4-7 May.
The 2017 World Para Powerlifting Championships kicks off just a few months later in Mexico City from 29 September – 6 October.