Bonnie secures second gold medal at World Powerlifting Championships

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin says he never expected to win. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: National powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin continued his smashing form by springing a surprise on senior opponents en route to clinching his second gold in the men’s up to 65kg category at the World Para Powerlifting Championship in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Monday.

The pint-sized Sarawakian who claimed his first gold in the men’s below 65kg a few days ago, lifted 185kg in his first attempt, before progressing to 197kg and 207kg in his second and third attempts to score his maiden senior title in the tournament held at Astana Congress Centre.

The victory also saw Bonnie book his ticket for the Tokyo Paralympics next year.

“I am very happy. I never expected to win the gold here with such strong competitors in my category.

“But I believe in myself, in my hard work and discipline that I follow in my training. This is my biggest win ever,” said 19-year-old.

Hocine Bettir of Algeria and Iranian Amir Jafari Arangeh settled for the silver and bronze after lifting 194kg and 193kg, respectively.

Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Liu Lei of China finished fourth after lifting 190kg.

Reigning Paralympic champion Paul Kehinde, who is the world record holder in the event, failed to score a podium finish following three invalid lifts.