KUCHING: National para powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin's world record-breaking feat will inspire other Sarawakian para-athletes to strive for success, says a state minister.
Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah congratulated the 22-year-old from Sarawak on setting a new world record in the men's 72kg category at the Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai.
"I know Bonnie's achievement will inspire other para-athletes from Sarawak to continue training and give their best.
"When we ask the para-athletes what their dreams are, their answer is to win medals and bring glory to the country.
"So Bonnie's success will motivate them to keep putting in the effort to fulfil their dreams, break barriers and overcome challenges with confidence so that they can also achieve success for themselves, Sarawak and Malaysia," she said on Wednesday (June 23).
Bonnie lifted 230kg in his gold medal-winning feat on Tuesday (June 22), breaking the previous record of 229kg set by Iranian Roohallah Rostami at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta.
He is now the world No 1 para powerlifter in his category and will compete at the Tokyo Paralympics with a "great chance" of a podium finish, Fatimah said.
She also congratulated Bonnie's coach Jamil Adam, a fellow Sarawakian, for his commitment to training the athlete.
Bonnie started training under Jamil in 2012 under the Sarawak sports development programme for para-athletes before moving to Kuala Lumpur in 2017 for further training.
Jamil, who has been coaching since 1998, is now the national para powerlifting coach.