Bose Omolayo delivered an explosive performance as she broke the world record en route to taking the women’s up to 79kg gold at the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships on Wednesday.
Defending world champion and world record holder Xu Lili was on paper the strongest candidate for gold. However, the Nigerian successfully pushed a world record-breaking 142kg lift in her third attempt to claim her first Worlds title.
The Chinese finished in second after clearing the bar at ‘just’ 128kg. Indonesia’s Siti Mahmudah (118kg) sealed bronze.
“It wasn’t an easy competition. I was aiming to challenge Lili and the world title. So, once she failed in her second and then third round, I chose to go for word record. And it was all possible because of my faith in God and his miracles,” 30-year-old Omolayo said.
Yujiao Tan, Miaoyu Han and Ye Jixiong lived up to the expectations and took gold in their respective categories, helping China continue atop the medals table with six golds.
Paralympic champions Tan and Fatma Omar of Egypt were expected to battle for the women’s up to 67kg title. It was the former who prevailed in the end thanks to a 137kg lift.
Nigeria’s Olaitan Ibrahim (127kg) came in second, with Omar just finishing in third position following a 121kg lift.
Tan, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, was happy about winning gold and beating her idol Omar, but believes that “the real competition will be in Tokyo 2020.
“I got to know that Fatma is injured too, so it was not a real competition. We will face off again in Tokyo 2020.”
Han was in impeccable form as she lifted 126kg to give China the women’s up to 73kg gold.
“My belief that I am the best and the strongest pushed me further,” she said.
Turkey’s Sibel Cam (124kg) finished second ahead of Egypt’s Amal Mahmoud (123kg).
France’s world record holder Souhad Ghazouani shockingly failed her three attempts.
In the last event of the day, Jixiong fell short of breaking his own world record but managed a 228kg lift, enough to secure the men’s up to 88kg gold medal.
Egyptian London 2012 champion Hany Abdelhady (216kg) claimed silver, while Jordan's Abdelkareem Khattab (213kg) collected bronze.
“I felt a bit of pain in my shoulder so didn’t go for the fourth attempt. I am saving my energy for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” said Jixiong.
Action will continue on Thursday with the women’s up to 86kg, men’s up to 97kg and up to 107kg.
You can watch the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships live on its official website and Facebook page.