Dubai 2023: Khattab provides fitting finale with record breaking show

Jordanian improves own world record by one kilo while Iran's Rostami defies pain to win second gold to wrap up the individual events at this year's Worlds 30 Aug 2023
A man lifting a bar on a bench press
Jordan's Abdelkareem Khattab won the men's up to 88kg world title with a 251kg-lift in Dubai
ⒸMaram Al Hashmi / DCPD
By World Para Powerlifting

Jordan’s Abdelkareem Khattab provided a fitting finale to the individual competitions at the Dubai 2023 Para Powerlifting World Championships, improving his own world record by one kilo on his way to winning his second title in a row on Tuesday (29 August).

Khattab, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion, set a new mark in Dubai yet again, this time with 251kg in the men’s up to 88kg – a category he had picked up his last Paralympic and World titles. 

Impeccable show 

The 32-year-old from Zarqa, Jordan was comfortable on the bench going for 230kg first to finish with a new world record of 251kg. He tried to improve it further in his fourth (Powerlift) but was unsuccessful.

With the new record show, Khattab also continued his impeccable form in the Emirate of Dubai where he had three world-breaking performances at the Fazza World Cup last season. 

“I am filled with immense joy on setting a new world record in the World Championships, which I consider to be one of my best shows, even surpassing the Paralympics,” said Khattab who held the earlier world record from Tbilisi 2021 Worlds. 

The Jordanian star’s strong will power and self-belief were certainly the reason of his world record breaking performances. 

“I attribute all my success to my God. Whenever I achieve a new number, I write it on a board in front of my bench when I train, and I try to break it in the next championship,” he added.  

He was followed by China’s Ye Jixiong and Egypt’s Mohamed Elelfat who finished on 234kg and 222kg respectively.    

Rostami regains gold

Before Khattab’s compelling show, Iran’s Roohallah Rostami put up a powerful performance to regain his Worlds title after four years in the men’s up to 80kg category.

Rostami, the world champion at Nur-Sultan 2019, overcame a shoulder pain to take the gold with a successful third attempt of 232kg. The Iranian was one better than China’s Gu Xiaofei, the Tbilisi 2021 champion who ended on 231kg for the silver, while Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin (226kg) claimed his first Worlds medal in 13 years. 

"I am so happy to win the gold at these championships, despite I had some issues in my shoulder. I had a good feeling during the competition. And I believe with proper medication, I will come back even stronger in Hangzhou 2022 [Asian Para Games], which is my next goal,” said Rostami promising to win the gold in the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

The Iranian still holds the world record in the category at 241kg set in Bangkok 2021.

China tops the medals standings with eight gold, six silver and three bronze (17 in total), followed by Iran with three gold and Nigeria with two. 

Complete results from the elite individual competitions can be found here.

The team events, including men’s, women’s and mixed events, are under on Wednesday (30 August) and streamed live on World Para Powerlifting website and Facebook page.