Tan Yujiao was in impeccable form as she set a new world record on her way to regional gold on the third day of competition (10 September) at the Asia-Oceania Open Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan.
China’s Paralympic champion lifted 139kg in the women’s up to 67kg, breaking the mark of 138.5kg she had set at Rio 2016. “I am so happy and excited,” she said. “Now I want to break it again in October at the Asian Para Games!”
She was followed by Kazakhstan’s Paralympic silver medallist Raushan Koishibayeva (111kg) and South Korea’s Hyeong Hui Kim (110kg) into the podium.
Men’s up to 72kg
Iraq’s two-time Paralympic silver medallist Rasool Mohsin showed a convincing performance, defeating strong opponents such as China’s two-time Paralympic medallist Hu Peng and Iran’s London 2012 runner-up Roohallah Rostami.
The latter two began leading with 211kg lifts, while Mohsin cleared the bar at 210kg. But Hu and Rostami could not keep up with their good level, failing their following two attempts.
Mohsin, on the other hand, subsequently lifted 217kg and 219kg to top the podium. Many expected him to try break his own world record of 228kg, but he decided not to.
He explained: "I am very happy for winning this gold medal. Unfortunately, I did not go for the world record as I have a shoulder injury. But I will go for it at October's Asian Para Games. I will lift 230kg!”
Rostami claimed silver ahead of Hu due to a lower body weight (71.69 against 71.81).
Women’s up to 61kg
Jianjin Cui gave China a new gold thanks to a 118kg lift. She finished ahead of Indonesia’s Yuliana Lili (93kg) and South Korea’s Youn Shil Jeong (85kg).
Two sets of medals are awarded in each event at the Championships. The top three Asia-Oceania powerlifters win medals for being the best in their region. As well as that, the top three powerlifters overall also receive gold, silver and bronze.
Mexico’s three-time Paralympic champion Amalia Perez won the women's up to 61kg overall podium after lifting 131kg.
“I am very happy with my performance,” she said. “I usually compete in the women´s up to 55kg, where this lift would have been a world record, but switched for the up to 61kg for some time to let younger Mexican powerlifters grow in the lower categories.
“However, I´ll be back to the up to 55kg for the next big competitions, including the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”
Cui took silver and Lili bronze behind Perez.
Men’s up to 80kg
Gu Xiaofei took China’s ninth gold in Kitakyushu after clearing the bar at 227kg. The 29-year-old is hoping to continue improving ahead of Tokyo 2020, where he aims to claim his first Paralympic title after taking silver at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Iran’s Nader Moradi (202kg) and Kazakhstan’s Nodarzhan Khamrullayev (160kg) completed the podium.
Competition will continue on Tuesday (11 September) with the women’s up to 73kg and 79kg, and the men’s up to 88kg and 97kg.
Kitakyushu 2018 is being shown live on World Para Powerlifting’s website and Facebook page.
Full results are available on the Kitakyushu 2018 website.