Lucas dos Santos and Marcos Cruzato claimed two golds for Brazil in an action-packed day of competition at the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Junior Championships on Friday.
Power-packed performances by Abdullah Al-Kaabi and Hussein Al-Jber also earned Iraq two gold medals.
Dos Santos lifted an Americas junior record of 126kg to win the men’s up to 49kg at the Astana Congress Centre.
“I am very happy to keep the gold with me. This has been my best lift ever, though I wanted to go for more,” the 17-year-old said before adding he will target 135kg at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games.
Just a few minutes later, Cruzato made it two golds for Brazil with a convincing 96kg lift in the men’s up to 54kg. It was an unexpected win for him, who had finished in fourth place at the 2017 Junior Worlds in Mexico City.
According to him, “right training and good coaches in Brazil” were the reasons behind his success.
Brazil also celebrated silver through Vinicius de Freitas in the men’s up to 80kg. The 19-year-old finished behind Greece’s Athanasios Vagenas (130kg) and ahead of Mexican Juan Ramirez (115kg).
Iraqi powerlifters deliver
Al-Kaabi cleared the bar at 130kg to win the men’s up to 88kg, while Al-Jber lifted 155kg to top the men’s over 107kg podium.
Iraq also took bronze in the men´s up to 72kg through Hayder Al-Behadili, who pushed 112kg. Italy’s world record holder Donato Telesca won with a 171kg lift, while Uzbekistan’s Sultonboy Matyakubov (125kg) secured silver.
Ukraine followed Iraq in the medals table with two golds.
Denys Ostapuk pulled off an emotional victory in the men’s up to 59kg after lifting 118kg. “I can’t explain my feelings in words. I am very emotional. This victory is one step ahead towards my goal,” he said.
Kseniia Tokar cleared the bar at 60kg to win the women’s up to 41kg and add a second gold to Ukraine’s haul.
Tursynay Kabyl gave Kazakhstan the first gold medal on home soil at Nur-Sultan 2019 by winning the women’s up to 41kg with a 57kg lift.
Malaysia’s junior world record holder Bonnie Bunyau Gustin was another impressive winner clearing the bar at a whopping 190kg for the men’s up to 65kg gold.
Defending champions Besra Duman and Fatma Korany also emerged winners in the women's up to 55kg and up to 61kg, respectively.
Competition at the Senior World Championships will get underway on Saturday, with 441 athletes from 78 nations participating.
You can watch the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Junior Championships live on its official website and Facebook page.