Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Veteran powerlifters repeat glories at Beijing Paralympics

\Veteran powerlifters made a strong show on Wednesday at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike of Nigeria, a three-time Paralympian, claimed the women's 48kg category gold with a world record. The 31-year-old made her Paralympic debut in 2000 Sydney Paralympics, and took a silver in the 44kg category.

Ejike, winner of the women's 44kg category in 2004 Athens Paralympics, broke the world record of the 48kg category twice to win the gold. Her winning mark was 130kg, while the previous world record was 118kg held by Bian Jianxin of China.

"I love the feeling of breaking the world record," she said, who is also the 44kg world record holder. "Before I came here I planned to break the world record," Ejike said.

"In Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, I was competing in the 44kg category and I broke the world record three times. This time I moved to the 48kg category, as I did in Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, I set a world record, broke it, set it again and broke it again."

"My secret is discipline and hard working," she added.

Russia's Olesva Lafina effortlessly lifted 112.5 and 115kg in her first two attempts to win the silver medal, but made a no-lift in her third attempt at 122.5kg. The bronze went to Souhad Ghazouani of France in 112.5kg.

In the men's 52kg category, Chinese Wu Guojing, silver medalist of the event in 2004 Athens Paralympics, lifted 175kg to win a gold at home.

The 45-year-old, oldest in the Chinese powerlifting team, tried 180kg in his third attempt, but failed.

"The gold is really special for me," said Wu. "I paid a lot and gained helps from a lot of people. Our efforts are not wasted."

Osama Abd Elmonem Elserngawy of Egypt took the silver, while Narong Kasanun of Thailand took the bronze.

Eatma Omar Omar of Egypt defended her title in the women's 56kg category. The three-time Paralympian made a hat-trick of new records, who lifted 135kg in her third attempt to break the 131kg record she had set in her second attempt, which in turn broke the 130kg Paralympic record she set at the Athens 2004 Games. In her fourth attempt, Omar lifted 141.5kg to break the world record.

"I'm very happy today," said Omar, winner of the 44kg category in 2000 Sydney Paralympics. "It's my aim of coming here. I didn't imagine I can break the world record."

Irina Kazantseva of Russia finished second while Siow Lee Chan of Malaysia took the third.

In the women's 52kg category, Veteran Amalia Perez of Mexico took the limelight as she lifted 128kg to win the gold and broke the Paralympic record.

It is also the third Paralympics for Perez, who was both the silver medalist in the women's 48kg in 2004 Athens Paralympics and in the 52kg in 2000 Sydney Paralympics respectively.

Tamara Poopalnaya of Russia finished second, while Samkhoun Anon of Thailand took the bronze.

Tomorrow will see the competitions of men's 56kg and 60kg category.


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