Sherif Othman retains his Paralympic Games title

Egyptian powerlifter lifts 197kg in men's 56kg category. 31 Aug 2012
Sherif Osman

Sherif Osman of Egypt has been one of the top Paralympic powerlifters in the world over the last several years.

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"God gave me this medal because he knows I trained for it."

At the ExCeL on Friday (31 August), powerlifting once again captivated the essence of Paralympic sport. Pure strength and technique combined, the enthusiastic crowds were treated to demonstrations of powerlifting prowess.

Women’s 44kg

Ivory Nwokorie lifted 109kg on her way to winning the gold medal, Nigeria’s second of the Games in powerlifting.

In what was a tense and nervy opening event of the day, where only seven successful lifts were recorded, the Nigerian edged out Turkey’s Cigdem Dede who finished with a best lift of 105kg en route to winning the silver medal.

“God gave me this medal because he knows I trained for it. I have prepared well to come to London and win it. Nobody has snatched that away from me," said Nwokorie.

Lidiia Soloviova added to her Paralympic medal haul with the bronze after lifting 100kg. The Ukrainian won gold in the women’s 40kg category at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games and also won silver in Sydney in 2000.

Men’s 52kg

Pre-event favourite Feng Qi won China’s first powerlifting gold medal of the 2012 Paralympic Games with a lift of 176kg in what turned out to be a very closely contested category.

Ikechukwu Obichukwu secured Nigeria’s third powerlifting medal of the Games by winning silver. The Nigerian lifted 175kg, which was matched by Russia’s Vladimir Krivulya, though Obichukwu finished second courtesy of a weight advantage.

With each medal up for grabs going into the last round, Feng demonstrated his class under enormous pressure with a comfortable lift to snatch gold.

The Chinese endeared himself to the crowd with his positive attitude and took the chance to dedicate his gold medal to his father.

"The first person I am looking forward to speaking to is my father because he has supported me a lot. He is recovering from a heart operation and this will mean a lot to him so I would like to thank him.

“My father made me some powerlifting equipment when I was aged 14, so that I could start training at home,” Feng explained.

Men’s 56kg

Egypt’s Sherif Othman powered his way to victory in the men’s 56kg category retaining his Paralympic title, despite failing to break his own Paralympic record of 202.5kg in two attempts.

The world recorder holder lifted 197kg with his first attempt before narrowly failing to lift 205kg twice.

Anthony Ulonnam won the silver medal with a best lift of 188kg. The Nigerian further added to his country’s powerlifting medal tally.

Wang Jian of China lifted 185kg en route to securing the bronze medal courtesy of a weight advantage, ahead of Great Britain’s Ali Jawad.

However, the evening will long be remembered for Jawad’s performance. The British powerlifter was roared on by the home crowds inside the ExCeL, in what was a deafening atmosphere.

The British powerlifter finished with a best lift of 185kg but failed to lift 189kg in his third attempt. Despite a protest which resulted in a subsequent re-lift at the same weight, Jawad was unable to secure a medal.

"I thought it was a lift so I protested, and the jury agreed it was a lift. It was hard to go through all that when you thought it was a lift. But I have to take it, I have to accept the decision of the referee," Jawad said.