Malaysian Bonnie Bunyau Gustin has clinched back-to-back World Cup titles with another golden performance at the Dubai 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup.
The Sarawakian, who lifted the gold medal in the men’s up to 72kg category competition at the World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Bangkok, repeated the feat in Dubai with a lift of 221kg. He went on to lift a new world record of 230kg in the powerlift after failing to do so in the competition proper.
His winning lift was 5kg lower than his effort in Thailand, but good enough to see him take the title well ahead of silver medallist Hu Peng. The Chinese powerlifter, the reigning world champion in the category, managed only a 214kg lift.
The 22-year-old Bonnie started his campaign with a 210 kg and followed it up with a 221kg lift that was good enough for the title.
Having secured the gold, Bonnie, attempted to break the current world record of 229kg with a 230kg attempt but failed in his effort at the weight.
Unperturbed, Bonnie came back in the powerlift to show his mettle, and to send the message to the world that he would be the man to beat at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Bonnie, who is the reigning World and Asia-Oceania champion in the below 65-kg category, did not take part in the first two legs of the series in Bogota and Manchester earlier. But he made a strong statement that he would be the strongest best bet for the gold in Tokyo with the wins in Bangkok and now in Dubai.
Bonnie had his moment of glory at the Nur-Sultan 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships when he surprised everyone with double world titles.
After clinching the men’s up to 65kg junior title on opening day, Gustin went on to shock Paralympic champions Paul Kehinde and Liu Lei on his way to his first senior major title. He lifted a massive 207kg for the up to 65kg gold.
His father Jenang was an international Para powerlifter who had participated in the Kuala Lumpur 2010 Worlds, while his elder brother Bryan Junancey Gustin was a national athlete.
Getting a medal at the Paralympics will be a culmination on his determination to excel in the sport.
In 2015 he quit school to focus on powerlifting.
“I had no interest in studies. I just want to focus on powerlifting, and win medals for Malaysia,” he had said to the media previously.
The Dubai World Cup was the last opportunity for athletes to improve their world rankings to grab a slot for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Another Malaysian, Jong Yee Khie will be in action later today in the men’s above 107kg category.