Egypt delivers the home goods

Egyptian Para powerlifters win 29 medals in total in the regional championships only, bringing the season to a close after five months of great action 31 Oct 2022
A man salutes with his right arm after lifting weights on a bench press.
Shaaban Ibrahim of Egypt shares the gold medal in the men's up to 72kg category with his countrymen Mahmoud Attia.
ⒸMohamed Almany/WPPO
By Sean Cavanaugh | For World Para Powerlifting

The final two days of competition brought more gold and glory to the land of pharaohs. Egypt added to their impressive medal tally in the final two days of the Cairo 2022 African Open Championships to dominate the competition.

The host nation came away with 12 regional gold individual medals. Egypt claimed 10 silver and seven bronze regional medals as well.

Egypt's clean sweep on day four

Mohamed Elelfat got the winning start for Egypt on day three with a victory in the men’s up to 80kg class. It was the fourth African Championships title for Elelfat. His first title also came on home soil in 2009.

“I had a great result back then. I am so glad to get that again,” said Elelfat. “I hope that there will not be a gap like that to get a new gold medal (laughs)”.

While it was the fourth African title for Elelfat, it was the first for his countryman Abdelbaset Mousa who won the men’s up to 97kg class with a 218kg lift.

Day four brought more glory for Egypt. Shaaban Ibrahim and Mahmoud Attia shared the top of the men’s up to 72kg podium after both lifting 190kg.

And the gold kept coming. Mohamed Ahmed picked up right after his teammates with a title of his own in the men’s up to 107kg. Amr Mossad made it a clean sweep for Egypt of individual men’s titles on day four with his victory in the over 107kg class. Mossad’s last lift of 230kg clinched the heavyweight crown.

The women’s side of Team Egypt continued to impress as well. Fatma Omar used a 123kg lift to win the up to 67kg class, Lucy Ejike of Nigeria took silver.

More world records for Nigeria

Nigeria delivered a strong performance of their own claiming the women’s team title and eight regional golds.

One of those golds came from rising star Onyinyechi Mark, who broke a world record to win the women’s up to 61kg class. Mark’s record lift of 143kg broke the mark previously owned by fellow Nigerian Ejike. It was the first major gold medal for the 21-year-old Mark.

Not to be outdone by the youngster, veteran Bose Omolayo broke her own world record with a 145kg lift in the women’s up to 79kg class. It is the third African Championships title for the Nigerian lifter. The two-time Paralympic champion felt right at home in Cairo.

“This competition here, I like it. I am very happy. I like this competition a lot. And thank god for giving me the power to push the weights,” said Omolayo.

She was not the only woman displaying power in Cairo.

Loveline Obiji came up clutch for Nigeria with a last-gasp victory in the women’s over 86kg class. Obiji put up 145kg in her last lift to knock Egyptian lifters Nadia Ali and Amany Ali to silver and bronze.

The men’s and mixed team events wrapped up the competition. Team World, made up of athletes from the non-African nations, pulled off the upset and won gold in the men’s team event. Favoured Egypt settled for silver.

Egyptian legend Sherif Osman made sure to send his squad out on a sweet note by clinching the mixed team event for Egypt with his final lift.

Cairo 2022 wrapped up the regional championships season. World Para Powerlifting visited four continents from May to October organizing four regional championships in South Korea, USA, Georgia, and Egypt.

Results from Cairo 2022 are available on the World Para Powerlifting website. All events can be re-watched on the World Para Powerlifting Facebook page and Paralympic Games YouTube.