Jordan and China bag first Para powerlifting gold

A body weight difference of 100 grams gives Omar Qarada first place ahead of Vietnam's Rio 2016 champion Le Van Cong at the Tokyo International Forum 26 Aug 2021
A man in a wheelchair biting his gold medal
TASTE OF SUCCESS: Omar Qarada took the first gold medal in Para powerlifting at Tokyo 2020 in the men's up to 49kg
ⒸHiroki Nishioka for World Para Powerlifting
By World Para Powerlifting

Jordan took the first gold medal in Para powerlifting at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games followed by a gold from China with a new world record set at the Tokyo International Forum on Thursday (26 August).

Guo Lingling’s highly-anticipated Paralympic Games debut left no room for questions. The two-time world champion broke her own world record to take gold in the women’s up to 41kg.

She first lifted 108kg in her third attempt to secure the gold and then returned for a fourth lift and world record attempt to set the new mark in 109kg.

“I’m very excited. This is the first time I’ve participated in the Paralympic Games, so to break a world record and win this medal for China is very special for me,” Lingling said. 

"Yesterday [25 August] was my birthday, so I received lots of messages from my friends wishing me happy birthday and good luck in the competition. I’m happy I was able to win the gold for all of them,” she added. 

Indonesia’s Ni Nengah Widiasih also improved her performance turning the bronze medal from Rio 2016 into silver in Tokyo with a 98-kg lift.

Also in her first Games, Clara Fuentes gave Venezuela their first medal in Para powerlifting in Paralympic history (97kg).

Earlier in the session, Omar Qarada gave Jordan the victory in the men’s up to 49kg.

The 40-year-old Qarada lifted 173kg on his third attempt to bag the victory ahead of world record holder and Rio 2016 champion Le Van Cong from Vietnam.

The Vietnamese also lifted 173kg but Qarada finished first due to a lower body weight of 100 grams (47.21kg against Van Cong’s 47.31kg).

It was Jordan second ever Paralympic gold medal and Qarada’s first after two silver at Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016. 

Parvin Mammadov gave Azerbaijan the bronze medal (156kg).

“I speak a lot to Le. He is a friend. In Rio the same thing happened, we both lifted the same weight on our third lift, but in Rio it was Le stealing my gold medal. Today it was me who was able to steal the gold medal from him,” Qarada said.

“It is a dream come true, but it’s just a stepping stone for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, where I promise I will set a new world record,” he added.

Para powerlifting day one continues with the women’s up to 45kg and the men’s up to 54kg.