Lifter Bonnie listed among world’s top Paralympians in 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: What a remarkable year it has been for Tokyo Paralympics champion Bonnie Bunyau Gustin (pic).

Not only did he create history as the first Paralympian to deliver gold in powerlifting at the Tokyo Games last August, the ‘Badang’ (a man of great strength like Samson) also ended the year with a flourish as he has been listed among the top male performers in 2021 by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

It all began when the dwarf-sized athlete smashed the world record in the men’s 72kg by lifting 230kg at the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates en route to winning gold last June.

He erased the previous mark of 229kg set by Iran’s Roohallah Rostami at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Para Games in Indonesia.

Although the Sarawak-born powerlifter was unable to break his own world record in Japan two months later, he produced another impressive show as he lifted 228kg in his third attempt to shatter the Games’ mark of 227kg set by Iraq’s Rasool Mohsin in Rio 2016.

The 22-year-old then continued his domination in the World Championships at Tbilisi, Georgia earlier this month, securing the world crown with a 210kg lift in the biennial tournament.

“Bonnie left school to focus on powerlifting at the age of 15 and his rise has been impressive,” according to IPC, as featured in the article ‘The men who stole the show in 2021’.

Apart from Bonnie, 10 other athletes from various sports were also listed – Marcel Hug (athletics, Switzerland); Sumit Antil (athletics, India); Dinesh Priyantha Herath Mudiyanselage (athletics, Sri Lanka); Zheng Tao (swimming, China); Maksym Krypak (swimming, Ukraine); Pramod Bhagat (badminton, India); Brad Snyder (triathlon, United States); Manish Narwal (shooting, India); Curtis McGrath (canoeing, Australia) and Dylan Alcott (wheelchair tennis, Australia). — Bernama

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