Ayesha Al Mutaiwei bags two bronze medals for UAE in Para Powerlifting World Cup

Mohammed Khamis Khalaf leads the way for the home team by claiming a gold, two silvers and a bronze

Ayesha Al Mutaiwei, right, celebrates her bronze medal with Marcia Cristina Menezes, centre, and Choe Sun-jeong on the final day of the Fazza 12th Dubai 2022 Para Powerlifting World Cup at the Dubai Club for People of Determination. Photo: Yahya Essa
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Emirati teenager Ayesha Al Mutaiwei provided a fitting final day for the UAE as the home team concluded their campaign at the Fazza 12th Dubai 2022 Para Powerlifting World Cup with three golds, four silvers and five bronzes.

Al Mutaiwei, 16, bagged two bronze medals in the year-ending four-day event that also gave participants points for the 2024 Paris Paralympics.

Al Mutaiwei won podium spots in both the women’s best lift and total lift categories behind Brazilian Marcia Cristina Menezes (116kg) and Korean Choe Sun-jeong (103kg) on the final day of the event at the Dubai Club for People of Determination on Sunday.

Brazil topped the medals table in the elite category with 11 medals, including five golds, followed by Iran and Jordan with five and three golds, respectively.

The UAE’s multiple Paralympic medal winner Mohammed Khamis Khalaf bagged a gold, two silvers and a bronze on the penultimate day.

Khalaf took a gold and silver in the Legends category before adding another silver and bronze in his weight division with a lift of 220kg and a total lift of 646kg.

Also on the podium were Haifa Al Naqbi, who won gold in the women’s 67kg division with a best lift of 94kg, and Fahad Mohammed, taking bronze in the men’s 97kg category with a total lift of 509kg.

Mohammed Khamis Khalaf with his gold at the Fazza 12th Para Powerlifting World Cup at the Dubai Club for People of Determination. Photo: Dubai Club for People of Determination

“I’m delighted with my teams’ and my own performances in the competition,” Khalaf said.

“On my own form, I think I achieved my objectives for the year as I had to come back from a shoulder injury. I’ll be better next year, hopefully.”

Al Naqbi, a gold medallist in the IWAS 2022 World Games, clinched the UAE’s second gold in the competition.

“I am happy to get a gold competing on home soil. It was a proud moment for my family as well. I hope I can do better next year and secure a medal in another category as well,” she said.

Adel Shanbih won gold for the UAE on the opening day in the men’s 88kg division.

Meanwhile, Jordanian Abdelkareem Khattab shattered the world record three times en route to winning gold in men’s 97kg.

The reigning Paralympic and world champion looked confident and started his campaign at 235kg before going for a world record attempt of 245kg in his second round.

Having achieved that goal, he went six kilograms up in his third round, breaking the world record again at 251kg and then at 255kg to set a new benchmark.

“I have been training for the last 10 years to get this result. It’s my first world record in this category and I am very proud of it,” Khattab said.

Updated: December 19, 2022, 10:42 AM