Iranian Roohallah Rostami lived up to expectations by winning his first World Para Powerlifting Championships title in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old remained calm throughout the competition and slowly progressed until the last round, where he lifted 236kg to take gold in the men’s up to 80kg.
Chinese Rio 2016 silver medallist Gu Xiaofei was leading with 227kg, but failed to clear the bar at 236kg in his last attempt and had to settle for silver. Egyptian Mohamed Elelfat (225kg) collected bronze.
In 2018, Rostami had won the Asian Para Games title in the up to 72kg with a world record lift of 229kg. In Nur-Sultan, he extended his dominance into the world stage.
“It was just perfect!” the 2012 Paralympic silver medallist said.
“It was a strong competition today. So, we planned to start from lower weight and finish it on higher weight. That was the tactic. And I am happy we could execute the plan.”
Hu Peng celebrates maiden title
The two-time Paralympic medallist lifted 209kg in his first attempt in the men’s up to 72kg, enough to take gold and his first Worlds title.
Iran’s defending champion Nader Moradi had high expectations coming into the event but had to be content with the second place following a 202kg lift.
Nigeria’s Nnamdi Innocent (190kg) took bronze.
“Doing well here was an important step for me in my preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics,” Hu said.
“Also, it was important to know where I stand. That’s why I prepared for this event really hard; I gave almost a year to improve my technique and game.”
During the beginning of the competition in the morning, the fire alarm of the venue was activated causing the competition to stop. Also, the women’s up to 67kg event was postponed.
Action will continue on Wednesday with the women’s up to 67kg, up to 73kg and up to 79kg; and men’s up to 88kg.
You can watch the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships live on its official website and Facebook page.