China’s Qi Yongkai had an international debut to remember on Sunday (9 September), winning gold on the second day of the Asia-Oceania Open Powerlifting Championships in Japan.
The 19-year-old set an impressive junior world record of 188kg to win the men´s up to 59kg. He then tried to break the Asian record but failed to lift 192.5kg. Qi will most certainly have more opportunities to do so though, with a long powerlifting career ahead of him.
He was followed onto the Asia Oceania podium by Iran´s Seyed Yousefi Pashaki (182kg) and China´s Jinglang Yang (175kg).
As the event is an Open Championships, two sets of medals are awarded in each event. The top three Asia-Oceania powerlifters win medals for being the best in their region, while the top three overall also receive gold, silver and bronze.
In the overall podium, Chile´s Juan Carlos Garrido (176kg) secured bronze behind Qi and Pashaki.
Women’s up to 50kg
Competing in the up to 50kg class, China’s Paralympic women’s up to 45kg gold medallist Hu Dandan still claimed overall gold thanks to a 108kg lift.
"I am not satisfied with my performance, I expected more," said the 29-year-old. "I was on maternity leave until recently and could not deliver my best."
Vietnam´s Thi Linh Phuong Dang (95kg) took silver and Kazakhstan´s Gulbanu Abdykhalykova (82kg) the bronze.
Men´s up to 65kg
China’s three-time Paralympic champion Lei Liu was far from his personal best, but the 30-year-old still won gold with a lift of 202kg in the men’s up to 65kg. He was joined on the podium by teammate Yang Quanxi who secured the silver courtesy of a 201kg lift in his last attempt. Jordan´s Mohammad Tarbash (187kg) came in third.
Women´s up to 55kg
Uzbekistan´s Ruza Kuzieva broke China’s dominance by taking her first major international title. The 24-year-old, who won bronze at last year´s World Championships, cleared the bar at 113kg.
“I am really happy for this achievement. Now I am going for more. I want to win the world title in Astana, Kazakhstan, next year, and the Paralympic title at Tokyo 2020,” she said.
China´s Shi Shanshan (105kg) and Vietnam´s Hoang Tuyet Loan Chau (95kg) completed the Asia-Oceania podium. Chile´s Camila Campos (104kg) surpassed the latter in the overall podium.
Competition will continue on Monday (10 September) with the women´s up to 61kg and 67kg, and the men´s up to 72kg and 80kg.
Kitakyushu 2018 is being shown live on World Para Powerlifting’s website and Facebook page.
Full results are available on the Kitakyushu 2018 website.