KUCHING: Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was delighted when Negaraku was played and Jalur Gemilang was lifted at the medal presentation ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Following that, Abdul Karim congratulated para-powerlifter Bonnie Bunyau Gustin for having won a gold medal in the games this year and setting a new Games record in the process.
“Bonnie’s success is the pride of all Malaysians, especially us in Sarawak and this is also a very special National Day 2021 gift for us all,” he said.
Abdul Karim highlighted that Bonnie had lived up to his top billing as a world-class powerlifter in the men’s 72 kilogrammes category earlier today.
“The 22-year-old is widely regarded as the man to beat, and he had not only won gold but also set a new Paralympic record with a new lift of 228 kilogrammes.
“This (gold medal) is also our country’s best achievement in powerlifting since 2008,” he said.
Bonnie’s achievement made him proud, he said, as he went on to lift 228 Kilogrammes (deadlift) during the competition and break the Paralympic record by one kilogramme – which record was previously held by Rasool Mohsin of Iran.
“He (Bonnie) had also tried to break his world record of 230 kilogrammes set just two months ago in Dubai’s World Para Powerlifting Championship 2021 but missed out on the 231 kilogrammes bonus attempt.
“Nevertheless, he has defeated his close competitor, Hu Peng of China, who is also ranked second in the world behind Bonnie and was expected to pose the toughest challenge to the Malaysian team.
“But it was Egyptian Mahmoud Attiar who bagged the silver instead with a lift of 191 kilogrammes while the bronze went to Micky Yule of Britain after finishing third with 182 kilogrammes,” he stated.
Abdul Karim once again expressed his congratulations to Bonnie and hopes that his success will be an inspiration for other Malaysian and Sarawakian athletes to achieve glory globally.