Sarawak para lifters bring pride to country

The Malaysia Powerlifting Team

KUCHING: Sarawak para powerlifting athletes who bagged three golds and one bronze medal at the just recently concluded 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Bangkok have brought pride to their home state.

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, who couldn’t contain her joy and pride, said the success story started from the efforts put in by the athletes and officials all these years into the development of sport as well as the strong support given by her ministry.

“The Malaysian powerlifting team consists of seven athletes who took part in the competition. Five out of the seven athletes are Sarawakians — three of the Sarawakians being women.

“All three gold came from our Sarawak athletes. They are won by 22-year-old Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, 29-year-old Nicoldemus Manggoi Moses, and 33-year-old Bibiana Ahmad. While 31-year-old Sona Agon won a bronze medal,” she said in a statement today (May 14).

Bonnie Bunyau Gustin

Bonnie from Ta’ee, Serian, who started training in powerlifting, won the gold medal with a lift of 226kg.

As for Nicoldemus from Bintulu, who has been training in powerlifting since 2011, the lifter won the gold medal with a lift of 190kg in the 88kg and below category.

Bibiana, who hails from Lawas, and who has been in the same sport since 2010, took home the gold with a lift of 80kg in the 67kg and below category.

As for Sona from Tebedu, Serian, she managed to win a bronze medal in the 73kg and below category.

The other Sarawak powerlifter is 35-year-old Norfariza Mortadza from Miri.

“The athletes are undergoing training by their powerlifting coach Jamil Adam and other coaches with great hope to represent the country in the 2021 Asean Para Games in Vietnam this year, Asia Para Games in China and the Commonwealth Games in England next year.

Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (right) in a photograph with Bibiana Ahmad at the Kuching International Airport (KIA) before her flight to Bangkok.

“For Bonnie, he is highly expected to win a medal at the 2021 Paralympics Tokyo which will be held in August this year,” she said.

She added the four athletes namely Bonnie, Nicoldemus, Sona and Norfariza will continue to train at the Malaysia Paralympic Sports Excellence Centre in Kuala Lumpur, while Bibiana will train at the Powerlifting Training Centre in Stadium Sarawak, Petra Jaya here.

Meanwhile, Malaysia was ranked third in the 2021 World Para Powerlifting World Cup after winning three gold and three bronze medals.

Iran was ranked first after winning five golds and a silver, while second was Thailand with three gold, a silver, and four bronze medals.