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World Para Powerlifting C’ships: Omolayo, Oluwafemiayo break world record

Bose Omolayo

Reigning Paralympic champion, Nigeria’s Bose Omolayo delivered an explosive performance as she broke the world record en route to taking the women’s up to 79kg gold on Day 5 of the ongoing Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships in Kazakhstan, reports.

Folashade Oluwafemiayo

Defending world champion and world record holder Xu Lili was on paper the strongest candidate for gold. However, the Nigerian successfully pushed a world record-breaking 142kg lift in her third attempt to claim her first Worlds title.

The Chinese finished in second after clearing the bar at ‘just’ 128kg. Indonesia’s Siti Mahmudah (118kg) sealed bronze.

“It wasn’t an easy competition. I was aiming to challenge Lili and the world title. So, once she failed in her second and then third round, I chose to go for word record. And it was all possible because of my faith in God and his miracles,” 41-year-old Omolayo said.

In a nail-biting women’s up to 86kg contest, Folashade Oluwafemiayo pushed an impressive 150kg to retake the world record in her third attempt and overcome a spirited challenge from China’s Zheng Feifei who had broken the world record earlier thanks to a 147kg lift.

“Courage is the most important thing in powerlifting. If you have the courage then you can do it. When I saw Zheng went for the record, I said ‘I will go for it too’. And my God’s blessings, I could achieve it,” said the 34-year-old, who defended the Mexico City 2017 title.

Bose Omolayo

The bronze medal was picked up by Russia’s Vera Muratova, who also got a European record with her 143kg lift.

Nigeria’s Olaitan Ibrahim (127kg) came second in the battle for the women’s up to 67kg title behind Paralympic champions Yujiao Tan of Egypt (137kg), with Fatma Omar also of Egypt just finishing in third position following a 121kg lift.

Nigeria is now second on the medals table with seven medals (3 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze) behind China on 15 medals (6 gold, 8 silver and 1 bronze). Iran is third with five medals (2 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze).

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

The IPC Powerlifting World Championships, is an event organized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Competitors with a physical disability compete, and in a few events athletes with an intellectual disability compete. First held in 1994, the competition is held every four years.

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