Lê Văn Công reacts after lifting 170kg at the World Para Powerlifting Championships' men's 49kg class in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Sunday. Photo courtesy of World Para Powerlifting Federation
HÀ NỘI — Lê Văn Công has won a silver for Việt Nam at the World Para Powerlifting Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Công was in the men’s 49kg category on Sunday against 26 other competitors. He faced world-leading athletes such as Paralympic champion Omar Qarada of Jordan, Paralympic bronze medal holder Parvin Mammadov of Azerbaijan and former Paralympic silver medallist Vladimir Balynets of Russia.
The top two spots of the event were a repeat of August's Tokyo Paralympics between Công and Qarada.
The event was packed with drama and it took three and a half hours of competition before the title was decided in the final lift.
With a lift of 170kg, 2017 world champion Công entered the final round in the top position to pile the pressure onto the reigning Paralympic champion, Jordan’s Omar Qarada.
Qarada summoned all of his strength to press 174kg to win the gold - 11 years after he first won his first title.
“Sometimes I have pain, I have many things, so when I got that gold medal everything came to fruition,” Qarada told paralympic.org.
“I now want to prepare myself for Paris 2024.”
It was a momentous moment for Parmjeet Kumar whose 158kg bronze medal lift entered the history books as India’s first-ever senior medal at a World Championship.
“I feel very proud,” said Kumar who added 12kg on to his lifetime best to win the bronze.
Iraq’s Musin Al-Sudani also wrote his name into the history books with a new junior world record of 155kg, bettering his record set less than 24 hours previously in the Junior Worlds to finish in fourth place.
In his fifth time at the world championship, Công failed to defend his title but the Vietnamese athlete was still happy with the result.
"My shoulder injury was worse after the Tokyo Paralympics," Công told Việt Nam News, adding that he has been taking painkillers in the run-up to the event.
"Doctors said my ligament has been torn 75 per cent and I need to have surgery as soon as possible.
"However, this world championship is one of the most important events that athletes must take part in to earn points to qualify for the 2014 Paris Paralympics so I could not miss it.
"Although I couldn't defend my title and the result is not as good as before, I am still happy because I did not target medal at all. And a silver shows my hard work and efforts have paid off. I felt really sore in every single lift."
Lê Văn Công's world silver medal. Photo courtesy of Lê Văn Công
It is Công's third-world silver. He also has one gold and two records under his belt from previous events.
Công is currently the best Việt Nam's athlete with disabilities. He is the world and Paralympic record holder with lifts of 183.5kg and 183kg, respectively.
The world silver result puts Công in a strong position to qualify for the Paris Olympics. To ensure qualification he needs to compete in at least one international tournament each year for the next three years.
Two other Vietnamese athletes will compete next. Đặng Thị Linh Phượng will take part in the women's 50kg class while Nguyễn Bình An will participate in men's 54kg pool.
One Vietnamese representative, Châu Hoàng Bích Loan, was due to lift in the women's 55kg category but she has been quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19.
The world championship continues until December 5 with athletes from 72 countries and territories. VNS