Dubai, February 15 2016 – Egypt’s Nawal Ramadan and Justyna Kozdryk, of Poland, were among the gold medalists on the opening day of the Seventh Fazza IPC Powerlifting World Cup at the Dubai Club for the Disabled on Monday.

Ramadan bench-pressed 95kgs to prevail outright by seven kilograms in the women’s U41kgs category, whereas Kozdryk lifted one kilogram (96kgs) more in the U45kgs classification to emerge victorious by five kilograms.

Ukraine’s Rayisa Toporkova achieved 91kgs with her third and final attempt and that proved enough to claim silver behind Kozdryk, with Marina Beketova, of Russia, rounding off the podium positions in third place with 90kgs.

Turkish 15-year-old Besra Duman twice tried to set a new junior world record of 93kgs in the very same U45kgs competition, which would have been sufficient for the precociously talented teenager to finish as the runner-up.

However, despite being spurred on by a vociferous crowd inside the tournament venue, Duman just wasn’t able to set the new marker and her best lift remained an initial effort of 90kgs.

That weight clearance wasn’t enough to secure Duman a spot on the podium either as she tipped the scales right on the 45kgs limit at the weigh-in earlier in the morning, while Beketova weighed 44.12kgs and the lighter athlete takes precedence in the event of a tie.

“I’m really happy to be pressing to break the junior world record and I want to progress even more,” Duman admitted.

“I wanted to medal here, but I could feel my arms not going up when I tried to make those two lifts at 93kgs and I’m naturally a little disappointed that I just missed out on the podium. However, I’ll work out even harder now and it’s my dream to go to the Olympics in either Rio de Janeiro this summer or Tokyo in 2020.”

Fourth-placed Duman finished ahead of Tunisian Samira Guerioua and Sakina Khatun, of India, who only managed 87kgs and 84kgs with their initial lifts for fifth and sixth respectively.

Syria’s Noura Baddour – like Duman – also missed out on a bronze medal to a Russian opponent in the U41kgs competition, with her 38.91kgs frame marginally heavier than that of Yulia Vorontsova’s (38.35kgs) after both women cleared 81kgs.

Vorontsova was still seven kilograms adrift of the silver medalist, Ukrainian Maryna Kopiika (88kgs), who herself was a further seven kilograms away from Ramadan’s winning clearance of 95kgs.

This event is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and organized and supervised by the Dubai Club for the Disabled, with the support of their strategic partners the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) and in cooperation with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare (GAYSW), the DSC and the UAE Paralympic Committee. 

Tuesday’s action at the Seventh Fazza IPC Powerlifting World Cup sees the men competing in the U59kgs and U65kgs categories, with the women doing likewise at the U50kgs and U55kgs weight classifications.