KUALA LUMPUR (June 11): Bonnie Bunyau Gustin and Jong Yee Khie need to finish at least in the top five top at the 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on June 19-24, to brighten their chances of qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympics in August.
National powerlifting coach Jamil Adam said Bonnie, who will compete in the men’s above 72 kg category, must finish in the top two and Yee Khie in the top four of the men’s above 107 kg category.
“Based on the performance and determination shown by Bonnie and Yee Khie during the training sessions in Bukit Jalil, I believe they can shine in the UAE, which is the final qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Paralympics,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Jamil also hoped that Bonnie, who won the gold medal at the World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand last month, would be able to maintain his momentum until the UAE tournament.
The 20-year-old from Kuching, Sarawak lifted 226 kg to bag gold in the men’s above 72 kg category, an achievement from his previous best of 207 kg en route to winning two gold medals at the 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
At the Bangkok tournament, 2012 London Paralympic Games champion Nader Moradi of Iran took the silver medal with a 204 kg lift while Alexandr Daskov of Kazakhstan finished third (140 kg).
In the Bangkok competition, the national contingent finished third overall out of eight nations and took home three golds and three bronzes.
Meanwhile, Jamil expects fierce competition for Bonnie and Yee Khie as other outstanding para athletes will also be competing in Dubai.
He said the duo remained high-spirited in training despite the country being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO).
According to him, their preparation continued to run smoothly despite having to go through health checks and strict standard operating procedures throughout the training sessions. — Bernama