Dubai: Records fell several times on the fourth day of elite championships as Brazil’s Mariana D’ Andrea and Nigeria’s Kafila Almaruf won their first World Championships titles at the Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor city here.
D’ Andrea, the Tokyo 2020 champion in women’s — 73kg, first with a list of 146kg and then 151kg to win the women’s up to 79kg gold ahead of Paralympic and defending champion Bose Omolayo who settled for the silver despite breaking the world record with her best lift of 150kg. “It was an intense competition; but I was confident to do well and ready for it,” admitted D’ Andrea who bowed the mat and kissed the bench after her successful lifts.
“I am very happy. It was a dream come true for me to win the World Championships title after the Paralympic gold in Tokyo.”
The third place was claimed by China’s Asian Para Games champion Han Miaoyu with a third successful lift of 140kg for her second Worlds bronze medal in a row.
First gold for Nigeria
If D’Adrea was remarkable in the evening session, Nigeria’s Kafila Almaruf stole the limelight in the morning.
Almaruf went on to break a long-standing world record of France’s Souhad Ghazouani — 150kg set in 2013- with a successful lift of 151kg and clinched the gold in women’s — 73kg. Ghazouni took the bronze with 131kg.
“I am very excited and grateful to my Almighty that I could do it today. I am ready for Paris 2024 Paralympics now,” said Almaruf, the former bronze medallist.
Defending champions from China Xu Lili settled with the silver with 134kg.
Zhou surprises Paralympic stars
However, Xu’s compatriot Yi Zhou produced a powerful show to finish ahead of Paralympic and world champions in men’s under 65kg.
Zhou finished with 215kg to take the gold ahead of favourites Amir Jafari (202kg) of Iran and Algeria’s Hocine Bettir (198kg).
At the medals table, China stayed on top with 15 medals that included nine gold, two silver and four bronze followed by Great Britain and Malaysia with three and two golds, respectively.
The Dubai 2023 Para Powerlifting World Championships, held the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination, are streamed live on World Para Powerlifting Facebook channel and Paralympics YouTube channel.