JOHOR BARU: National weightlifting coach Matin Guntali, 37, showed that age is no barrier if one is disciplined and dedicated when he powered himself to a gold and two silvers in the 56kg category on the first day of the Johor Open in the first-leg of the National Weightlifting Circuit at Plaza Kotaraya here yesterday.
The Sabahan, a bronze medallist at the KL Commonwealth Games in 1998, and Manchester Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohd Faisal Baharom of Pahang both lifted 140kg in the clean and jerk.
But Matin was awarded the title on a lighter bodyweight (55.9kg) compared to Faisal's 56kg.
Johor's Mohd Osman Ismail, 22, was way down in his bronze medal effort of 117.5kg.
Matin's silvers came in the snatch with a lift of 105kg and in the overall with 245kg.
Faisal took the golds in both disciplines with lifts of 110kg in the snatch and 250kg in the total.
Osman again had to settle for bronze in the snatch and the total with lifts of 105kg and 217.5kg respectively.
Matin missed out on the overall title when his knees buckled while trying to lift 145kg in his third and final attempt.
He fell backwards much to the relief of Faisal who had lifted 142.5kg in his final try.
“I took part more for fun,” said Matin.
“At the same time, I wanted to give the younger lifters a push. Anyway, it's good to be on the rostrum at this age.”
Commonwealth Games triple gold medallist Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim (56kg category) of Pahang and two other national weightlifters – Selangor's Ahmad Fadzlan Ghazalli (77kg) and Che Mohd Azrul Che Mat (105kg) of Pahang – are giving the Johor Baru meet a miss because of injuries.
The 22-year-old Amirul is best remembered for his recording breaking feat in Manchester last year with new Games' records in the snatch (115kg), clean and jerk (145kg) and overall (260kg) on his way to a triple gold medal haul in the 56kg category in Manchester.