Dubai 2023: Lingling, Gustin set new world records

Paralympic stars better their own record marks with Chinese Lingling breaking it twice, Xuemei Deng picks the other gold medal of the day on Thursday 25 Aug 2023
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Guo Lingling
China's Guo Lingling continued her tradition of breaking the world record in major events, this time at the Dubai 2023 Worlds.
ⒸMark Madrid / DCPD
By World Para Powerlifting

Dubai has already been a favourite destination for powerlifters and Thursday saw several Paralympic stars adding the UAE city to the list with new world records and title defence, all achieved in style on day two of the Para Powerlifting World Championships.

Tokyo 2020 champions Guo Lingling of China and Malaysia’s Bonnie Bunyau Gustin stamped their dominance one year ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Lingling, the three-time world champion, bettered her own world record twice – which she had set in Nur-Sultan 2019 at 118 kg - en route to taking the gold in women’s up to 41 kg at the Hilton-Dubai Al Habtoor city.

The Chinese lifter's record-breaking show – which included 119 kg and final 120 kg lift – was the icing on the cake as the day’s foundation was already laid by Gustin’s power-packed performance.  

The Malaysian bettered his own world record set in Dubai 2021 World Cup at 230 kg, successfully lifting one kilogram above to set the new mark in men’s up to 72 kg. 

Comfortable win

Lingling was competing in a higher category than the women’s up to 41kg where she had taken her last two big medals, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and Tbilisi 2021 World Championships, but she hardly faced any trouble. 

The Handan-based powerlifter dominated throughout achieving the new world record, 119 kg, in her only second attempt. She went one kg better in her third attempt for a new mark. With this, she also continued her tradition of breaking the world record in major events, with six new records being set together at the Paralympics and World Championships. 
“I am very happy and proud to break the world record and take the gold in Dubai. I have trained hard for this. Paris 2024 is one of my next goals and I am training like normal days, listening to my coaches to rectify my mistakes to deliver better results,” said the new world champion who already has titles from Mexico City 2017, Nur-Sultan 2019 and Tbilisi 2021 Worlds.

Lingling was followed by Tokyo 2020 medallist Clara Fuentes Monasterio of Venezuela (105 kg), who also changed her weight category, and Turkey’s Nazmiye Muratli (104 kg). However, Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Indonesian Ni Nengah Widiasih (98 kg), also competing the new weight category, ended fifth.

No. 3 for Deng    

Later, Lingling’s compatriot Xuemei Deng joined her on the top of the podium with a gold medal in women’s over 86 kg. Deng finished with 150 kg in her second attempt, six kg above Egypt’s Ali Nadia (144 kg) and Poland’s Zeba Marzena (137 kg).

This was Deng’s third medal in Dubai, and she already picked out the Emirate city as among her favourite venues. 

“I like it here in Dubai as it is my third medal and first World Championships gold here,” said Deng who now focuses on “breaking the world record in Paris 2024 Paralympics”.


Starting with a massive 210 kg, almost thrice his body weight of 71.2 kg, the Malaysian Gustin went for 10 kg more in the next round before hitting the new world record mark of 231 kg, making it look so easy on the bench. 

He finished way ahead of the silver medallist Donato Telesca from Italy (202 kg), who claimed his first senior medal at World Championships on Thursday.

“I am super happy. I like to compete in Dubai – it brings me great results.” an elated Gustin said.

“There’s no secret to the world record. It’s a motivation to work hard and come up with improved performance. I look to improve every time and that helps me chasing my dreams. My next target is to break the world record in Asian Para Games.” 

After two days of elite competitions, China were on top with four medals that included three gold and one silver followed by Great Britain and Vietnam with one gold each.

Where to watch?

The Dubai 2023 Para Powerlifting World Championships is streamed live on World Para Powerlifting Facebook channel and Paralympics YouTube channel.

Complete schedule and results of the competitions are available here.