KUCHING, June 23: Sarawakian athlete and national powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin has set a new bench press world record with a big lift of 230kg in the men’s above 72kg category at the 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) yesterday.
According to national news reports, the record-setting bench press was Bonnie’s final attempt in the competition, after no one was able to beat his second lift of 221kg.
The 21-year-old then decided to go after the world record of 229kg set by Iranian Rostami Roohallah at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Para Games in Indonesia by raising the bar to 230kg.
He successfully claimed the gold, an accomplishment that broke the bench press world record for his weight class at the 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup.
China’s Hu Peng took silver with 214kg while Nigeria’s Innocent Nnamdi, who was the bronze medallist at the last Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, placed third with 213kg.
This is Bonnie’s second straight win, having delivered a gold medal in the same category at the World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Bangkok on May 7.
In Bangkok, Bonnie from Serian already broke his personal best by lifting 226kg to win the gold in his weight class, an improvement from his best lift of 207kg in Kazakhstan in 2019 by nearly 20kg.
Another national para athlete, Jong Yee Khie, was also scheduled to compete in the men’s over-107kg category last night.
Bonnie and Jong, the 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist in Glasgow, are the only Malaysians sent for the Dubai event, which is the last qualifying event for the Tokyo Paralympics.
With his roof-raising performance, Bonnie not only secured his spot at the Tokyo Paralympics in Japan later in August this year, but is seen as a potential candidate to clinch the gold medal. — DayakDaily