Bonnie lifts nation’s image

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin

Abdul Karim lauds para powerlifter’s World Cup feat

KUCHING: State Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah heaped praise on Sarawak-born national para-athlete Bonnie Bunyau Gustin for his recent record-breaking feat.

Bonnie, from Kampung Baru Mawang, Serian, broke the world record for the men’s over-72kg category at the 11th Fazza Dubai 2021 Para Powerlifting World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday.

“Congratulations to our powerlifting para-athlete. The 22-year-old emerged champion by lifting 230kg, beating his challenger from China, Peng Hu who could only lift 214kg.

“The second runner-up, Nnamdi Innocent who hailed from Nigeria managed 213kg,” he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Abdul Karim said Bonnie’s feat erased the previous mark of 229kg set by Iran’s Roohallah Rostami at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Para Games in Indonesia.

He said such was Bonnie’s second straight win, having delivered the gold medal in the same category at the World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Bangkok on May 7.

In Bangkok, the 22-year-old Bonnie, from Kampung Baru Mawang, Serian, won gold with a lift of 226kg while 2012 London Paralympic winner Nader Moradi (204kg) of Iran took silver and Alexandr Daskov (140kg) of Kazakhstan finished third.

Bonnie’s amazing feat also caught the attention of national Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, who tweeted his congratulations.

“Amazing! Gold and a new world record! Congratulations Bonnie Gustin on this proud achievement.

Bonnie with his world record breaking powerlift.

“This is the power of our athletes. The power of Malaysian athletes!” he tweeted.