Dubai 2021: Khattab triumphs in event with three world records

Jordanian Worlds medallist, world champion Bunyau and Online World Cup winner Muratova shine on days three and four at World Cup 22 Jun 2021
A man with a face mask giving a thumbs up
Abdelkareem Khattab celebrating his gold medal after breaking two world records in the men's up to 88kg category at Dubai 2021
ⒸFazza LOC Media
By World Para Powerlifting

Days three and four of the Dubai 2021 World Cup saw plenty of world record performances, including three in a single event in the men’s up to 88kg category on Monday (21 June).

The third day at Dubai 2021 began with the most thrilling event where the world record was broken three times, and Khattab emerged as the star with a mighty performance at the Dubai Club for People of Determination. 

Jordan’s Abdelkareem Khattab was the star of the day as he cleared the bar at 237kg in his third attempt to set a new world record and take the gold. The World Championships bronze medallist went on to improve his own mark by lifting 240kg in a world record fourth attempt.

Before Khattab’s brilliant show, China’s Jixiong Ye was on the lead as he had bettered his own world record set at Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games in his second attempt by lifting 236kg.

The world champion eventually had to settle for the silver, ahead of compatriot Xiaofei Gu (234kg).

“I am very delighted with my performance here. I came to participate at the Dubai 2021 World Cup with the goal to qualify for Tokyo 2020 and better my personal record. And thank God, I managed to do it, not just once but twice breaking the world record. I feel very confident ahead of Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” said Khattab. 

Meanwhile, local hero and Rio 2016 gold medallist Mahammed Khamis Khalaf finished fifth with a lift of 212kg.

Bonnie, Muratova smash records too

Khattab’s record breaking performance was followed on Tuesday (22) by Malaysia’s sensation Bonnie Gustin Bunyau’s golden campaign in the men’s up to 72kg.

Bunyau, the reigning senior and junior world champion, began with a successful lift of 210kg followed by 221kg before faltering in the world record attempt of 230kg in the third round, only to succeed in the fourth attempt. 

China’s Hu Peng finished behind on 214kg, ahead of Nigerian Paralympic bronze medallist Nnamdi Innocent (213kg). Iraq’s Paralympic silver medallist Rasool Mohsin took the fourth place with 207kg.

“This was the last competition in our preparation for the Paralympic Games and today’s show will give me a lot of confidence going ahead. I want to repeat the same performance at the Games,” said the 22-year-old Bunyau. 

The fourth day ended with another sensational performance by Russian Vera Muratova, Nur-Sultan 2019 World Championships bronze medallist, in the women’s up to 79kg. 

The winner of the Online World Cup launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Muratova stayed ahead right from the start going for 135kg, 139kg and finishing off with 143kg  to break the world record set by Paralympic champion Bose Omolayo (142.5kg) at the Manchester 2021 World Cup in March. 

China’s Xang Feifei, a Worlds silver medallist, tried to close the gap but could only manage 132kg for the silver ahead of Ukraine’s Nataliia Oliinyk (130kg).

Triple victories for Egypt

Meanwhile, Egypt opened their golden account through Elelfat Mohamed (men’s up to 80kg), Amany Ali (women’s up to 86kg) and Rehab Ahmed (women’s up to 50kg).  

Mohamed started as the favourite and cleared the bar at 217 kg, followed by world junior champion Donato Telesca of Italy (198kg) and Francisco Palomeque of Colombia (196kg).

Later, Rio 2016 bronze medallist Amany got off to a strong start lifting 125kg, before finishing on 132kg, far ahead of Russia’s Elena Machekhina (115) and Chile’s Marion Serrano (114kg).

On Tuesday, reigning world champion Rehab was the women’s 50kg winner thanks to her successful 115kg lift in her first attempt while China’s Hu Dandan (114kg) finished just a kilo behind for the silver. Russia’s Anastasiia Mamadamirova claimed the bronze with 99kg. 

Onyinyechi takes first gold for Nigeria 

Nigeria clinched their first gold at Dubai 2021, thanks to Mark Onyinyechi’s powerful effort. The 19-year-old lifted 126kg in her only successful attempt in a thrilling women’s up to 55kg event that saw the lead changing on several occasion. 

In doing so, she also broke the junior world record as Turkey’s Besra Duman, a two-time junior world champion, Russia’s Tamara Podpalnaya, a Worlds bronze medallist, and China’s Worlds silver medallist Xiao Cuijuan faltered in their third attempts.

Duman (123kg) eventually took the silver, while Podpalnaya settled for the bronze with 121kg. 
China lead the medals standings with five gold, five silver and one bronze, followed by Egypt (three gold and two silver) and Russia (two gold, two silver and four bronze).

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

Action continues on Wednesday with men’s up to 97kg, up to 107kg, over 107kg, and women’s over 86kg events.

The Dubai 2021 World Cup will be live on World Para Powerlifting website and Facebook page. Full schedule and results can be found here.