Saturday, December 3

‘Badang’ Bonnie among world’s top Paralympians in 2021


National paralympic powerlifter athlete, Bonnie Bunyau Gustin poses with the gold medal that he won for the 72 kilogramme (kg) category during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum on Aug 28. – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 29): What a remarkable year it has been for Tokyo Paralympics champion, Bonnie Bunyau Gustin.

Not only creating history as the first national Paralympian to deliver Malaysia’s first gold in powerlifting at the Tokyo Paralympic Games last August, the ‘Badang’ (a man of great strength like Samson) once again stole the limelight when he was listed among the top male performers in 2021 by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), recently.

It all began when the dwarf-sized athlete, who competed in the men’s 72 kilogramme (kg) category, smashed the world record as he lifted 230kg at the 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup in the United Arab Emirates en route to winning gold last June, thus erasing the previous mark of 229kg set by Iran’s Roohallah Rostami at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Para Games in Indonesia.

Although the Sarawak-born powerlifter was unable to break his own world record in Japan two months later, he had produced another impressive show as he lifted 228kg in his third attempt to shatter the Games’ previous mark of 227kg set by Rasool Mohsin of Iraq in Rio 2016.

The 22-year-old then continued his domination in the 2021 World Para Powerlifting Championships at Tbilisi, Georgia earlier this month, securing the world crown with a 210kg lift in the biennial tournament.

“Bonnie left school to focus on powerlifting at the age of 15 and his rise has been impressive,” according to IPC, as featured in the article ‘The men who stole the show in 2021’.

In the meantime, Bonnie’s feats also caught the Paralympic Council of Malaysia’s attention, as they took to their Facebook account to congratulate him.

“Congratulations. Bonnie is one of top male performers in 2021 listed by IPC,” the council said in a posting today.

Apart from Bonnie, ten other athletes from various sports were also listed namely Marcel Hug  (athletics – Switzerland); Sumit Antil (athletics – India); Dinesh Priyantha Herath Mudiyanselage (athletics – Sri Lanka); Zheng Tao (swimming – China); Maksym Krypak (swimming – Ukraine); Pramod Bhagat (badminton – India); Brad Snyder (triathlon – United States); Manish Narwal (shooting – India); Curtis McGrath (canoeing – Australia) and Dylan Alcott (wheelchair tennis – Australia). – Bernama