Indonesia 2018: Debut delight for Laos

Powerlifter makes stunning start to competitive career 07 Oct 2018
male powerlifter Pia Laophakdee kisses the bar

Pia Laophakdee kisses the bar after lifting 133kg to win gold at Indonesia 2018

By Steven Glover | For the IPC and APC

Laos’ Pia Laophakdee has stolen the show on day one (7 October) of the Para powerlifting at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games, winning a gold medal in his first competitive event.

Laophakdee pulled off a major shock to beat India’s Basha Farman to the men’s up to 49kg event, despite taking up the sport just six months ago.

Both attempted 133kg in their final lifts of the day however, only Laophakdee was able to complete the lift, sending the Laos fans wild.

Laophakdee said he was very excited when Farman was attempting his final lift.

“This is a new event for me but the Indian athlete already had the champagne so, that is why I am so excited,” he said.

“Since I have my disability for a long time, I would like to promote how to overcome a disability, to be strong and healthy,” he said.

“I plan to go to Dubai for my next event, this is a world championship, and after that I will go ahead to the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.”

Another sensational performance from Lingling Guo was the highlight of the two women’s events, as China claimed both golds on offer in the up to 45kg and up to 41kg.

Guo won gold in the up to 45kg with three consecutive world record lifts, setting a new mark at 115.5kg to win in convincing fashion.

It is the second time in less than a month that Guo has broken the world record three times in a row, having first done it on her way to gold at September’s Asia-Oceania Championships.

Cui broke Indonesia hearts as she held off local star Ni Nengah Widiasih to win the up to 41kg by just 3kg. Cui’s lift of 100kg proved to be enough after Widiasih failed to better her mark of 97kg with her final lift.

Following her silver performance, Widiasih said she hoped to improve on the performance.

“I need to say sorry to Indonesia, only a silver medal I got today. I hope next time I can be better because still many competitions are coming,” she said.

“Next year, I have world championships in Astana (Kazakhstan) and I hope I can do better than today.”

Four more events will be contested in powerlifting on Monday (8 October) including the women’s up to 55kg and up to 50kg.