Dubai 2023: Ones to Watch

Six names to follow at this year’s World Championships, the third edition to take place in the United Arab Emirates 15 Aug 2023
A male powerlifter waving
Malaysia's Bonnie Bunyau Gustin will be in search of his third World Championships gold this year in Dubai.
ⒸAl Bello/Getty Images
By World Para Powerlifting

Dubai, United Arab Emirates will host the Para Powerlifting World Championships for the third time in history with almost 500 athletes taking centre stage from 22 to 30 August. 

Here are some of the world’s best to follow.

Amalia Perez (Mexico)

Paralympic legend Amalia Perez is heading to her ninth World Championships in search of a fifth world title. The first of them came in the same Dubai 15 years ago. The Mexican is also four-time Paralympic champion and six-time Paralympic medallist, the most successful female powerlifter in the Games alongside Egypt’s Fatma Omar (each with four gold and two silver medals).

When to watch: Women’s up to 67kg – Monday, 28 August

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin (Malaysia)

Gustin made his breakthrough in Mexico City becoming junior world champion in 2017. Two years later in Nur-Sultan, he not only defended his junior crown but also took the gold medal in the senior event. Since then he added another world title (Tbilisi 2021), a Commonwealth Games gold (Birmingham 2022) and the first Paralympic gold (Tokyo 2020) to his impressive collection. His brother Bryan will also be competing in Dubai in the men’s up to 80kg category.

When to watch: Men’s up to 72kg – Thursday, 24 August

Olivia Broome (Great Britain)

At only 22 years of age, the British powerlifter boasts an impressive collection of major championships medals. Broome has a Paralympic bronze from Tokyo 2020, a World Championships silver from Tbilisi 2021 and a junior world title in the same event, together with a Commonwealth Games silver from Birmingham 2022. Will the elusive gold medal arrive this year in Dubai?

When to watch: Women’s up to 50kg – Wednesday, 23 August

Parmjeet Kumar (India)

Kumar made headlines two years ago in Georgia becoming the first athlete from India to reach the podium in a Para Powerlifting World Championships taking the men’s up to 49kg bronze medal at Tbilisi 2021. His first major international medal came three years earlier, a bronze at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. Dubai 2023 will be his third World Championships participation. 

When to watch: Men’s up to 49kg – Wednesday, 23 August

Sherif Osman (Egypt)

No list of athletes to watch in a Para powerlifting event is complete unless Egypt’s Sherif Osman is included. A four-time Paralympic medallist and three-time Paralympic champion, he has won five world titles in three different categories starting in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – including Dubai 2014, the last time UAE hosted the event.

When to watch: Men’s up to 59kg – Monday, 28 August

Souhad Ghazouani (France)

Ghazouani will be one of the stars of next year’s Paralympic Games competing at home in the French capital Paris. She has never missed a Paralympic podium since Athens 2004 with one gold, two silver and two bronze medals. But the French athlete has not medalled in World Championships since bagging her second world title at Mexico City 2017. She will face strong competition from Brazil’s Mariana D’Andrea and Nigeria’s Bose Omolayo.

When to watch: Women’s up to 79kg – Saturday, 26 August

The Dubai 2023 Para Powerlifting World Championships will be streamed live on World Para Powerlifting Facebook channel. Complete schedule and results are available here.