On Aug. 26, 2021, the first day of Para powerlifting at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games took place. Four weight categories competed — Women’s 41-kilograms, Women’s 45-kilograms, Men’s 49-kilograms, and Men’s 54-kilograms. The Women’s 41-kilogram class was highlighted by Guo Lingling of China’s record-setting Paralympic Games debut performance.
She set a Paralympic record on her first bench press attempt of 105 kilograms (231.5 pounds). She extended it to 108 kilograms (238.1 pounds) on her third attempt to win gold and beat her previous world record by one kilogram. Guo successfully hit 109 kilograms (240.3 pounds) on her fourth attempt to set a new world record again. Here was Guo’s full performance:
2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games — Guo Lingling, 45KG
- Attempt One — 105 kilograms (231.5 pounds)
- Attempt Two —
107 kilograms (235.9 pounds)
- Attempt Three — 108 kilograms (238.1 pounds) — Paralympic Record
- Attempt Four — 109 kilograms (240.3 pounds) — World Record
Per the Paralympic rules, her fourth attempt did not count as her best lift but is recognized as the current world record. Indonesia’s Ni Nengah Widiasih won the silver medal with a 98-kilogram (216.1-pound) best lift — one kilogram more than Venezuela’s Clara Sarahy Fuentes Monasterio bronze-winning lift.
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In an interview with Xinhua, Guo expressed that winning gold was her “dream” after two years of preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Games:
I feel elated to be able to make my dream come true.
Guo entered the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games as the world record holder in the 41-kilogram weight category. She set the previous world record three times at the 2021 World Para Powerlifting (WPPO) World Cup in Dubai, UAE, on June 19, 2021. Her third lift of 107 kilograms (235.9 pounds) was the benchmark heading into the Games. If you have not seen her world record lift from that event, you can check it out below, courtesy of the Paralympic Games YouTube channel:
Before the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games qualification cycle, Guo competed in the 45-kilogram class. She currently holds the world record in that weight category via her gold-medal-winning 118-kilogram (260.2-pound) lift from the 2019 WPPO Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazahkstan. Guo’s trophy mantle includes gold from her international debut at the 2017 WPPO Championships and the 2018 Asian Para Games. She is currently the only female Para powerlifter to hold world records in multiple weight categories simultaneously.
The Rest of Day One at the Paralympic Games
The results of the other four weight categories compete on day one of Para powerlifting at the Games are listed below:
- Latifat Tijani (Nigeria) — 107 kilograms (235.9 pounds)
- Cui Zhe (China) — 102 kilograms (224.9 pounds)
- Justyna Kozdryk (Poland) — 101 kilograms (222.7 pounds)
- Omar Sami Hamadeh Qarada (Jordan) — 173 kilograms (381.4 pounds)
- Lê Văn Công (Vietnam) — 173 kilograms (381.4 pounds)
- Parvin Mammadov (Azerbaijan) — 156 kilograms (343.9 pounds)
Although Công and Qarada scored the same best lift, Qarada was awarded the gold medal for having a lighter bodyweight. Separated by one-tenth of a kilogram, Qarada weighed 47.21 kilograms, and Công weighed 47.31 kilograms.
- David Degtyarev (Kazahkstan) — 174 kilograms (383.6 pounds)
- Axel Bourlon (France) — 165 kilograms (363.8 pounds)
- Dimitrios Bakochristos (Greece) — 165 kilograms (363.8 pounds)
Bourlon was awarded the silver medal to Bakochistos’s bronze due to having a lighter bodyweight. Bourlon weighed in at 52.95 kilograms. Bakochristos weighed in 15-hundredths of a kilogram heavier at 53.1 kilograms.
BarBend is an official media provider for World Para Powerlifting.
Featured image courtesy of World Para Powerlifting | Photo by Hiroki Nishioka