UAE’s Khalaf bags two golds at Asia-Oceania Championships


Mohammed Khamis Khalaf (R) celebrates after winning gold at the ongoing Asia-Oceania World Para Powerlifting Open Championships in Pyeongtaek.

UAE’s two-time Paralympic champion Mohammed Khamis Khalaf overcame a poor start to lift 216kg in the final round and claim six medals, including two gold, at the ongoing Asia-Oceania World Para Powerlifting Open Championships in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

Khalaf, who trains at Dubai Club for People of Determination, saved the best for the last round as he successfully lifted 216kg after two errors in the first and second rounds.

Khalaf’s efforts saw him claim two gold medals for the best score in the Masters Open and Asian events.

He also claimed two silver medals for a total score again in Masters events.

In the Elite Open and Asian categories, the UAE veteran finished in third place, sharing the bronze medal with Jordan’s Mutaz Zakaria Daoud Aljuneidi, who also successfully lifted 216kg in the third round.

Iran’s Seyedhamed Solhipouravanji took the gold with his best lift of 225, ahead of China’s Yan Pan Pan, the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion, who managed a lift of 217kg in Round 3.

“I am happy to get the medals here,” said Khalaf, who claimed a silver medal at the West Asia Para Games in Bahrain, in February 2022.

“I feel I am 95% ready in terms of fitness and training, and I am confident of doing even better in the coming events, including the Fazza Championships,” he said of the shoulder injury that spoiled his Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games campaign.

Khalaf believed that his three-week training stint in Thailand helped him get back into his old rhythm.

“The training was fruitful and I am happy with the 216kg I lifted. I will attempt to score more in the next event. It was a big boost to compete and win against the young lifters,” said the 53-year-old, adding that he has taken a cautious approach in his training to attain full fitness.

“I am not pushing too hard. I am taking one event at a time and doing light training. At this level and age, staying injury free is more important.”

The UAE star will be next in action at the forthcoming Fazza Dubai 2022 World Para Powerlifting World scheduled for December 2022. Mohammed Khamis Khalaf (Centre) takes 2 Gold in Masters Category..


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