Mexico City 2017: Two golds for China on day five of Worlds

Tan Yujiao and Ye Jixiong give China the lead in powerlifting’s medals table

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China are enjoying success not only in the pool but also at the Juan de la Barrera Gymnasium as Tan Yujiao and Ye Jixiong claimed one gold each on the fifth day (6 December) of competition at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Mexico City.

Yujiao met expectations by defending the world title in the women’s up to 67kg after lifting 135kg in her second attempt. She also tried to break the world record of 138.5kg she had set at Rio 2016 but failed. Still, the 27-year-old could be seen jumping for joy. “I am so happy!” she exclaimed.

On her international debut, Olaitan Ibrahim delivered an outstanding performance, lifting 110kg and sealing silver. Moved by what she had just achieved, Ibrahim had tears of joy rolling down her cheeks while staring her medal with amazement on the podium.

“I am so happy, this is fantastic,” she said. “This was my first Worlds and [I] was not expecting to win any medal at all.” Gihan Abdelaziz collected bronze, Egypt’s fourth medal at Mexico City 2017, following a 105kg lift.

The other Chinese gold medal-winner of the day was Jixiong in the men’s up to 88kg. The 24-year-old subsequently lifted 215kg, 220kg and 226kg to claim the title at his maiden World Championships. “It feels really good,” he said with the medal hanging around his neck.

Iran’s 2014 Asian champion Seyedhamed Solhipouravanji cleared the bar at 210kg to claim his second consecutive World silver. Brazil’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Evanio Da Silva was embraced by his teammates after lifting 208kg to finish in third place.

“My first Worlds and I win a medal. I did not expect this because I do not compete to win medals but to give my best and outperform myself. I am very happy,” said Da Silva.

Seven years after claiming her last Worlds gold at Kuala Lumpur, France’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Souhad Ghazouani returned to the top of the podium in the women’s up to 73kg with a 145kg lift in her second attempt. She then tried to break her own world record of 150kg but failed to lift 151kg.

“I did not expect this result at all, I am happy to win another World title,” she said. “I wanted to break my world record but I could not. I´ll try again at the 2018 European Open Championships in my home country.”

Chinese Han Miaoyu collected silver after clearing the bar at 121kg. Paralympic champion Ndidi Nwosu, however, had a disappointing performance and could only lift 120kg after two failed attempts to seal bronze. It was 20kg less than what she lifted at Rio 2016.

“I am not happy,” the Nigerian said. “I won gold at Rio 2016 so I was expecting to win gold again at Mexico City 2017 but could only seal bronze. I really hope I can do better in my next competition.”

More information on the World Para Powerlifting Championships, including live coverage, results and athlete profiles can be found on Mexico City 2017’s website.