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KUCHING, Dec 3: National paralympic powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin brought home the gold medal at the World Para Powerlifting Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Sarawakian-born athlete successfully lifted 210kg in the men’s 72kg category, thus defending the title that he won in Kazakhstan in 2019.
Hu Peng from China, who cleared 196kg, secured the silver medal, while Ibrahim Shaaban from Egypt won the bronze medal with 195kg.
Bonnie also won gold medals at the World Para Powerlifting World Cup in the men’s 72kg in Dubai and Bangkok this year.
On Aug 28, Bonnie created history by becoming the first Malaysian to win a Paralympic gold medal in the men’s 72kg at the Tokyo International Forum at the Tokyo Paralympics, breaking the Games’ record with a 228kg lift.
In a congratulatory message today, Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family, and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah acknowledged Bonnie’s performance and the coaching he received from Jamil Adam.
“Our prediction was right. He (Bonnie) trained well under an excellent coach Jamil. His commitment to being a champion was superb,” she said.
She further said that the national para-powerlifting coach, who is also a Sarawakian, was given the honour and trust to train the team in Kuching and not in Kuala Lumpur this time.
“Being trained on home ground and being able to be close to his parents are a bonus for Bonnie. That is why the team spirit, the level of confidence and the morale was high.
“Additionally, he received support from the State government through the recent incentives from Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, and the Ministry’s OKU Development officers are constantly monitoring his welfare and emotional wellbeing.
“In other words, the wholesome package for success was all there. Congratulations, Bonnie,” she emphasised. — DayakDaily