Nur-Sultan 2019: Roohallah Rostami claims first title

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.”


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.

Nur-Sultan 2019: Bonnie Gustin springs surprise

Paralympic champions Paul Kehinde and Liu Lei suffered a shock defeat against 20-year-old Bonnie Bunyau Gustin in an exciting third day of competition at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

The Malaysian opened with a 185kg lift before progressing to 197kg and 207kg in the men’s up to 65kg to take his first senior major title.

“I am very happy. I never expected to win the gold here with such strong competitors in my category,” said Gustin, who finished sixth at Mexico City 2017.

“But I believed in myself, in my hard work and discipline that I follow in my training. This is my biggest win ever.”

Algeria’s Hocine Bettir (194kg) claimed silver and Iranian Amir Jafari Arangeh (193kg) collected bronze.

Chinese three-time Paralympic gold medallist Liu was far from his personal best, lifting only 190kg to end in fourth place.

It was also a heartbreaking competition for Nigerian fans as world record holder Paul Kehinde left after three invalid lifts.

“There are wins and defeats. This is sports,” he said.


While there were shocks, there were also some expected winners. Nigerian multiple-time Paralympic champion Lucy Ejike lived up to her promise and added another world title to her glittering career in the women’s up to 61 kg.

The 41-year-old comfortably pushed 132 kg in her third attempt to clinch the gold ahead of Uzbekistan’s Ruza Kuzieva (125 kg). Ukrainian Rayisa Toporkova cleared the bar at a European record of 123kg to claim bronze.

Ejike said she wanted to go for more, but her coach advised her not to. “I am saving my power and best for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. You need to watch and wait for me in Tokyo.

“Becoming a champion is easier than maintaining being a champion. I get inspired when people look up to me and expect from me (to win); I have been a champion for so many years and I always try to achieve more to inspire the next generation.”


Ukrainian Mariana Shevchuk delivered a power performance to claim her maiden World Championships title in the women's up to 55kg thanks a 128kg lift.

But the European champion later failed to break her own world record of 131kg.

“I am happy and sad too because I couldn’t get the world record here. I trained hard. There was mental pressure,” she said.

It was a disappointing competition for Mexico’s multiple-Paralympic and world champion Amelia Perez, who failed to make even one successful attempt.

China’s Rio 2016 bronze medallist Xiao Cuijuan (126kg) finished second and Russia’s Tamara Podpalnaya (122kg) third.

Action will continue on Tuesday with the men’s up to 72kg and up to 80kg, and women’s up to 67kg.

You can watch the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships live on its official website and Facebook page

Nur-Sultan 2019: Sherif Osman enhances his legend

Sherif Osman reassured his place in the pantheon of powerlifting legends by achieving his fourth World Para Powerlifting Championships title in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on Sunday.

Egypt’s 36-year-old opened with a convincing 190kg lift in the men’s up to 59kg, before subsequently clearing the bar at 195kg and 196kg to take gold.

Chinese 20-year-old Qi Yongkai finished just behind in second with an Asian record of 195kg.

“Yongkai was very strong and so we had to change our plan. I did not want to risk the gold for the world record. I went for 196kg instead of 202kg (in the third attempt) in order to secure the gold medal,” Osman said.

“I promise you all that I will go for the world record in Tokyo.”

The three-time Paralympic champion added: “It’s my mind that motivates me every time. I set targets and each time I achieve it, I set even more difficult targets for myself.”

Chile’s Americas champion Juan Carlos Garrido completed the podium thanks to a 184kg lift.


The African nation also enjoyed success through Rehab Ahmed, who defended the women’s up to 50kg title after lifting 114kg.

China’s Hu Dandan had to settle for silver with an Asian record lift of 113kg. Ukraine’s Rio 2016 champion Lidiia Soloviova collected bronze.


Russia’s Vladimir Krivulya surprised everyone –including himself- by winning gold in the men’s up to 54kg with a European record lift of 189kg ahead of Paralympic and world champion Roland Ezuruike.

The Nigerian performed way below the expectations, claiming silver following a 177kg lift. Greece´s Dimitrios Bakochristos cleared the bar at 165kg and took bronze.

Krivulya said: “I always wanted to win the Worlds title. Like every athlete, I also trained hard for the competition. But honestly, I was not expecting the gold today. I am very happy.”

“There is no time to relax now. I will start my training from tomorrow. The gold here will motivate me to do even better (ahead of Tokyo 2020).”

The World Championships will continue on Monday with the women’s up to 55kg and up to 61kg, and men’s up to 65kg.

You can watch the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Junior Championships live on its official website and Facebook page.

Nur-Sultan 2019: Brazilian powerlifters shine

All eyes will be on the Kazakh capital city of Nur-Sultan as the strongest Paralympians fight for the World Para Powerlifting Championship title between 13-20 July.

A total of 441 athletes from 78 nations aim to win one of the 20 gold medals up for grabs.

Chinese reigning world champion Lingling Guo will be one of the big names competing in the women’s up to 45kg on Saturday.

The men’s up to 49kg could see either reigning world champion Le Van Cong of Vietnam or Jordan’s Worlds runner-up Omar Qarada grabbing the top prize.

China are also hopeful of landing gold in the women’s up to 41kg through defending world champion Cui Zhe.


Owner of the Rio 2016 Paralympic and Mexico City 2017 gold medals, plus the world record (211kg), the Egyptian has all the forces in his favour in the men’s up to 59kg.

“I remember, I read on the IPC website a while back, someone wrote ‘Sherif is like a fine wine, he gets better with age’,” he said.

“It is true! Getting stronger as you get older is of course a challenge. But I like the wine comparison. It is my belief that I will keep getting better.”


Home fans will be cheering on Raushan Koishibayeva as she participates in the women’s up to 67kg on 16 July after a successful 2018 which saw her ending second at both the Asia-Oceania Open and the Asian Para Games.

The Paralympic silver medallist seeks to outdo her performance from the 2017 World Championships, where she ended fifth.

“I am proud that our country will host such a big event and I think that all of this will have a positive effect and help Kazakh Para sport to move forward,” she said.

“I hope for a successful performance because these are home walls and there is double the amount of responsibility. But we will see. The barbell will single out the winner.”

One day earlier, Mexican multiple Paralympic champion Amalia Perez will be hoping to add a fourth world title to her trophy cabinet in the women’s up to 55kg.


Nigerian world and Paralympic champion Paul Kehinde continues to get stronger and will be the man-to-beat in the men’s up to 65kg.

He said: “I know I can break the world record again, because I’m the one who set it, and I believe by the grace of God, I’m going to add kilograms. I want to set a record that nobody will be able to break.”

The world’s strongest Paralympian Siamand Rahman will be in action on the penultimate day of competition, with many expecting him to go for the world record of 310kg he set back at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

The first mixed team events will be contested on the final day. Each team will be represented by three powerlifters, with at least one of them being a female.

Mexico’s Jose Castillo Castillo, Brazil’s Evanio Da Silva and Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin are some of the big names expected to take part in it.

You can watch the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Junior Championships live on its official website and Facebook page.

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.

Dos Santos even 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).


Power-packed performances by Abdullah Al-Kaabi and Hussein Al-Jber earned Iraq two gold medals.

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.